The Arena Amazonia in Manaus held its first official 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ test event on Thursday evening, a Brazilian Cup tie between Resende and Vasco da Gama. Fully open for the first time since its completion, the stadium welcomed a crowd of over 32,000 for the game, which ended in a goalless draw.
The teams of the Brazil 2014 Organising Committee (LOC) took part in the test event, the first time they have done so at any of the six stadiums not used at last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup.
The stadiums in Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Natal, Sao Paulo and Brasilia will each host one more test event, while Cuiaba will stage two tests, the first of them taking place on 26 April, a Brazilian second division match between Luverdense and Vasco. Manaus will also host a second test event, the date of which has yet to be decided.
Thursday’s cup tie provided an opportunity to test certain aspects of cleaning and waste management, transport, competitions, safety and security, spectator services, volunteers and technology. There were some shortcomings, which are entirely to be expected in an initial test, though the LOC teams made their presence felt in areas such as spectator services and volunteers.
“We had 32,000 happy people in the stadium. There were no problems at all, no incidents of note and people were able to move freely in the concourses and aisles,” explained Brazil 2014 LOC Stadium Operations Manager Tiago Paes.
“The process of adapting to a new situation is generally quite slow, but Manaus did a great job,” he added. “We still haven’t tested out numbered tickets, and the ticketing system was different to the one that will be used at the World Cup. Even so the fans behaved superbly in this first test.”
Although some parts of the stadium have not quite reached the required standard for the World Cup as yet, such as the pitch, which is still in the process of being prepared for competition, Vasco coach Adilson Batista was full of praise for all the preparation that went into Thursday’s match.
“I really like the way the procedures for welcoming the team were set up for this game,” he said. “Everything was really great and the stadium looks fantastic too. The pitch was up to scratch and the ball rolled straight. It didn’t cause the players any problems at all.”