Brazilian World Cup stadium closed for urgent repairs

Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:13pm EST
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By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - One of Brazil's sparkling new World Cup stadiums has been shut down by authorities for urgent repairs less than a year after it opened, government officials told Reuters on Thursday.

The Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba will be closed for "emergency repairs to resolve diverse construction problems with the aim of offering safety to users," the state government that owns the stadium said in a statement.

It said officials had visited the 600 million reals ($233 million) arena and noted that "immediate construction repairs are necessary."

Officials said some elevators and air conditioning had broken down and that seasonal rains had caused water to leak through the roof.

Initial repairs will start this week but the stadium will be reopened for three months between February and May because state championship games will be held there and heavy rains make repair work difficult, said the official, who asked not to be named.

The government said it had contacted builders Construtora Mendes Junior. The arena hosted four matches in the 2014 World Cup finals last year.

The closure comes just days before the Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium in Rio is due to re-open after two years of repair work. That ground was opened in 2007 but closed again in 2012 after engineers said the roof was in danger of collapse.

(Editing by Mike Collett)

The Arena Pantanal stadium (C)  is seen from a plane leaving Cuiaba June 25, 2014.  REUTERS/Ann Gassenheimer