The six 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil stadiums that are currently open for business proved to be a smash hit with fans during the 2013 Brazilian football season. Seven of the ten highest attendances in the Brasileirao came at stadiums that were used during the 2013 Confederations Cup, and which will next year host games at the biggest competition on the planet.
Average attendance at the new stadiums was 25,010 fans per game, beating the league’s overall average of 14,951 by some distance. The figure is also higher than the 22,953 fans per game that turned up in 1983, the league’s highest annual average on record.
One of the most impressive crowd-pullers was the Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, which will play host to six games in the 2014 World Cup. Since it reopened in February, the Mineirao has attracted an average of 32,427 fans per game – the stadium’s biggest average crowd for ten years.
Such passionate home support was one of the factors that spurred Cruzeiro on to their third Brazilian title. The Belo Horizonte team had the biggest crowds in the 2013 Brasileirao, with an average of 28,911 per game. And if only games at the Mineirao are taken into account, the average rises to an impressive 32,819. The reopening of the stadium was a vital factor in the club’s membership total rising by 7,000 to more than 46,000.
Even though Atletico Mineiro played the majority of their home games away from the Mineirao, the club still wrote its name into the stadium record books in 2013. The final of the Copa Libertadores against Olimpia attracted a record crowd of 56,557 to the stadium, and established a new gate receipts record for Brazilian football of 14.2 million reais.
The previous record was also held by a 2014 World Cup stadium. The game between Santos and Flamengo in May, which marked Neymar’s farewell to Brazilian football, drew a crowd of 63,501 to the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia. The crowd, the biggest in the 2013 Brasileirao, generated gate receipts of 6.9 million reais. The Mane Garrincha’s average attendance of 34,413 this year was the highest of all Brazilian stadiums in 2013.
Brazilian Cup winners Flamengo benefited greatly from the reopening of the Maracana, the stadium that will hold the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil final. Flamengo were watched by an average crowd of 54,557 during their cup run, and the attendance at the final against Atletico-PR was 68,857, the highest club crowd of the season.
Of all the new stadiums, the lowest average crowd came at the Arena Pernambuco, where only 11,955 showed up per game. Nautico’s terrible year, as the club were relegated to Serie B after 32 matches, did not exactly encourage fans to attend games. On the other hand, the average crowd at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza was 17,426 for games in Serie A and Serie B of the Brasileirao. Despite playing in the second division, Ceara were watched by an average crowd of 17,101 fans per game. The Arena Fonte Nova, in Salvador, where Bahia played their home league games, attracted an average of 20,377 fans per match.
Average attendance at 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Stadiums*
*After FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013
The 10 highest attendances of this year's Brasileirao
Santos v Flamengo
Vasco v Flamengo
Cruzeiro v Gremio
Vasco v Nautico
Sao Paulo v Fluminense
Flamengo v Coritiba
Flamengo v Botafogo
Sao Paulo v Portuguesa
Vasco v Santos
Sao Paulo v Corinthians