Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, lends support to Belo Horizonte ahead of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup™

Belo Horizonte receives full government support following the opening of the Mineirão Stadium

Belo Horizonte, Brazil; 23rd December 2012: Belo Horizonte, Host City for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup™, has today received the full support of the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, following the re-opening of the Mineirão Stadium.

Speaking at Friday’s opening ceremony at the stadium, President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, said: “Fifty years ago, I visited this stadium as a child and, as a Brazilian, I am proud to be here today and see the Mineirão Stadium restore its status as an iconic, world-class footballing venue that will host some of the world’s greatest players and athletes over the next two years. Today has underlined my belief about the extraordinary ability of the people of Brazil to deliver major projects, like the restoration of the Mineirão Stadium, both on time and on budget. I am sure that Belo Horizonte, the state of Minas Gerais and the twelve host cities and regions around Brazil will show the world that Brazil can not only play great football, but can also host a spectacular FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup that will be remembered for years to come.”

With a capacity for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ of 62,000 fans and a total of investment of R$654.5M, the Mineirão stadium will host six 2014 FIFA World Cup™ matches and three FIFA Confederation Cup 2013 matches. Located thirty five minutes from Belo Horizonte’s International Airport and twenty minutes from the city centre, the Mineirão stadium is positioned in the affluent area of Pampulha which is the birthplace of work by one of the world’s most celebrated architects, the late Oscar Niemeyer and is close to one of the city’s universities.
Brazilian Minister of Sports, Aldo Rebelo, also lent his support to the region, adding: “There have been many important moments in Brazilian football history that have taken place in Minas Gerais and Belo Horizonte, including the 1950 FIFA World Cup. We have been joined today by many footballing greats from across Brazil and South America, including 1970 World Cup winner and Brazilian legend, Dario, and I hope that this facility can inspire a new generation of athletes around the region and Brazil to play sport and become the stars of the future.”

Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Antônio Anastasia, Governor of the State of Minas Gerais, said: “The re-opening of this stadium represents a significant moment for many people around the state of Minas Gerais. I would like to thank all those involved including, the Brazilian government, local construction companies, private investors and dedicated staff for completing this unique project on time and on budget and for their collective efforts over the past two and a half years to deliver this marvelous stadium. Having such an iconic venue at the heart of the city will add to the many cultural attractions that the city and state have to offer and we hope that we will continue to attract more visitors and more business opportunities to our region in the lead up to the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup.”

Mayor of Belo Horizonte, Marcio Lacerda, said: “This is a historical moment for both the Mineirão Stadium and the city of Belo Horizonte and I would like to thank all those involved in this project, including the thousands of workers that have worked tirelessly to revitalize this magnificent footballing venue in time for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup. This venue, with its rich sporting history and heritage, will transform the lives of many people around Belo Horizonte and will play an important role in delivering a real social legacy once the tournaments have concluded. I look forward to working with all levels of government and the football authorities to deliver a successful tournament that the people of Belo Horizonte and Brazil can be truly proud of.”

The newly refurbished stadium is open for public viewing until Sunday 23rd December 2012 with an estimated 35,000 people expected to visit over the weekend. Visitors can obtain tickets in exchange for 1kg of non-perishable food, which will be donated to social projects within the city.