Brazil opens second stadium as World Cup fever grows


Brazil’s preparations to host the 2014 World Cup have gathered speed with the opening on Friday of the second of the 12 stadiums destined to hold matches during the tournament. President Dilma Rousseff formally inaugurated the rebuilt Mineirão stadium in Belo Horizonte, less than a week after cutting the ribbon at the Castelão stadium in Fortaleza. Tens of thousands of fans are expected to visit the Mineirão in the coming days to see a stadium that took almost three years to refurbish at a cost of 695 million Brazilian reais. The Mineirão is one of Brazil’s best-known stadiums and in being delivered on time and on budget is a benchmark for the other 10 stadiums under construction. “This is as good as Wembley, as good as (the Allianz Arena in) Munich, it’s up there with the best stadiums in the world,” Carlos Alberto Parreira, assistant to Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, told reporters. “A stadium like this is great news for both players and fans.”