19 Dec 2009

Maracana Stadium to get refit for World Cup

11:51 am on 19 December 2009

Brazil will spend almost $400 million to renovate Maracana Stadium, closing the historic Rio de Janeiro venue next year to spruce up the centrepiece of the 2014 World Cup.

Opened for the 1950 World Cup, Maracana is expected to be reopened in December 2012.

The facade will remain, although a roof will be added to the five-story structure.

Originally built to hold 200,000, the present capacity will be reduced from 87,000 to 82,000 at the recommendation of FIFA.

Work on the stadium will begin in March.