In pictures: We check out the World Cup venue in Salvador

The stadium will host four group games, a quarter-final and us.

LOCATED near the historic old centre of Salvador, the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova will host four group games during World Cup 2014, as well as one second match and a quarter-final.

Despite the existing Estadio Octavia Mangabeira only being razed to the ground in 2010 the new 48,747-seat stadium was officially opened in April of last year, as the organisers avoided the harum-scarum race for completion experienced in other cities.

The local side, Esporte Clube Bahia play their home games in the lakeside stadium, but on Friday it will play host to Spain and Holland as the reigning World Champions get their defence underway with a Group B encounter against the side they beat in the final four years ago.

This afternoon got its first look inside the Arena Fonte Nova (Itaipava, a beer, is the naming sponsor).

Salvador is a hilly city on the Atlantic coast and the stadium’s location on Avenue Vasco da Gama offers views of much of the surrounding area.

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There is still plenty of work to be done before Friday, with workers and volunteers milling around the concourse and the concession stands and gift shops unstocked.

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Despite the heavy and consistent rain forecast all week, there were grow lights positioned in both corners at the north end of the pitch. Other than those two spots the pitch looks immaculate.

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The view from the VIP seats was, predictably, perfect, while there appeared to still be plenty of work to do in the adjacent lounges, where the furniture was yet to be unwrapped.

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The pressbox is located directly above the VIP stands, in the upper tier of the west stand.

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The view from the front rows of the bottom tier behind the goal is alright but, with rain forecast, one would be well-advised to bring a raincoat because the roof does not provide cover down there.

Nice and dry in the concourse though.

photo 3 (3) Source: All pics: Mikey Stafford


Gavin Cooney
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