Having a stadium of its own is an old dream of Clube de Regatas do Flamengo and, from time to time, the idea of achieving this goal comes to the fore. Now, the cause is the conflict with Vasco da Gama over the use of Maracanã, which Flamengo has a concession.
Cruzmaltino wants to play against Sport this Sunday at Maracanã, on the grounds that the stadium is not owned by Flamengo, but a public good. On the 27th of June, the court ruled Vasco was right, who had sold more than 60,000 tickets for the match.
With the judicial setback, Flamengo now understands that Maracanã is subject to political interference and there is a climate of insecurity to maintain the concession for longer.
In history, several Flamengo ‘own house’ projects were marked by presenting an ambitious plan that ended up only on paper. The reasons were several: financial, political and even internal differences. Check it out below:
Arena da Gávea
In Gávea, where Flamengo is based, there is a small stadium that has been used for official matches in the past. In 1997, the then president of the club, Luiz Augusto Veloso, partnered with a private company and implemented the construction of tubular bleachers in the stadium, expanding the capacity to 25,000 fans.
At the time, the big games were held at Maracanã, while the smaller ones went to Gávea. However, the stands were temporary and the long-term project for the ‘Estádio da Gávea’ did not go ahead.
Ten years later, President Márcio Braga again raised the subject, obtained the necessary authorizations, and presented an ambitious project that included the construction of a new stadium for 30,000 seats, in addition to expanding the facilities for other sports and implementing a leisure area. , with shops, cinemas and restaurants.
The project looked good and an image of a model of the new stadium excited the fans, however, everything changed when the Government of Rio de Janeiro decided to privatize Maracanã.
At the time, the possibility of Flamengo being ‘owner’ of Maracanã, through privatization, seemed interesting. Furthermore, Governor Sérgio Cabral reversed the authorization that Flamengo had for the construction of the ‘Estádio da Gávea’ on the grounds that this would have a major impact on traffic in the region.
Stadium on Avenida Brasil
In the administration of Eduardo Bandeira de Mello, in 2017, Flamengo signed a term of option to purchase a land of 160 thousand square meters on Avenida Brasil. There was the intention, therefore, to build a stadium on the site with a capacity for up to 50,000 fans.
The idea was debated among the club’s directors and could cost up to R$ 420 million, but one point weighed on the project’s withdrawal: security, since the region is considered violent in Rio de Janeiro.
Stadium in Olympic Park
Due to the conflict with Vasco about the use of Maracanã, Flamengo started to consider a new area for the construction of its own stadium: the region of the Olympic Park, in Barra da Tijuca, which already has a modernized structure and logistics implemented due to to the 2016 Olympic Games.
The work would be done with the participation of investors. The idea was to use the arenas for Olympic sports in which Flamengo participates, such as basketball.
This week, a meeting should take place between the club’s leaders and the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes. However, via social media, Paes has already stated that the Olympic Park area is private, which could be another stumbling block in the red-black’s dreams.
Apart from the projects to have the stadium to call ‘its’, Flamengo also made several partnerships to use the stadiums of other owners as principal. This was the case of the ‘Arena Petrobrás’, in 2005, when Flamengo teamed up with Botafogo and renovated the Luso-Brasileiro Stadium, which had a capacity of 5,000 people.
The reason was the closing of the Maracanã, due to the works for the 2007 Pan American Games. At the time, Petrobras installed tubular bleachers and expanded the stadium’s capacity to 30,000 seats. But, with the return of Maracanã, the ‘Arena Petrobras’ was no longer used.
With the end of the Pan-American Games, Engenhão was also in Flamengo’s sights. President Márcio Braga even visited the stadium, which in the end ended up falling into the hands of Botafogo, which has been using it for 20 years.
In 2016, the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, stated that Flamengo would be interested in building a stadium in Deodoro, in the West Zone of Rio, where a rugby arena currently operates.
The area is located next to Avenida Brasil and next to a train station. The idea, however, did not go ahead because the leaders of the rubro-negro also had a ‘plan A’, which was to manage Maracanã.
Finally, in 2017, Flamengo used the Luso-Brasileiro stadium, on Ilha do Governador, at a time when the club faced an imbroglio with the manager of the Maracanã stadium.
The use was part of a three-year lease agreement with Portuguesa-RJ. With a cost of R$ 12 million in works, the stadium’s capacity was expanded to 20 thousand people and renamed ‘Ilha do Urubu’.
However, dissatisfaction due to the stadium’s maximum capacity for public demand and the fall of two lighting towers made Flamengo resume negotiations to use Maracanã and break the rental contract with Portuguesa-RJ in 2018.