News

Rio stadium: “It’s a serious problem”

28/03/2013

The roof problems that forced the closure this week of Rio de Janeiro's Joao Havelange stadium are serious and it could take up to two months just to find a solution, engineers have said.

The six-year-old arena, scheduled to host the athletics events at the 2016 Olympic games, was shut on Tuesday because of structural damage to the roof.

It is a major embarrassment for Brazilian sporting authorities.

“We’ve received a report about the stadium and it did not come with any solutions attached,” said Armando Queiroga, president of the city government’s public works department, RioUrbe, according to Reuters.

Roof damage closes new Havelange stadium ahead of Olympics (Getty)

“It’s a serious problem and we can’t forecast when it will open again. We need from 30 to 60 days to find the solution and after that we will have some perspective.”

Authorities said the roof could present a risk for spectators if the wind reached over 63km/h.

The stadium is currently the city’s main soccer venue as the Maracana stadium is rebuilt for the Confederations Cup this year and the 2014 World Cup.

The Joao Havelange stadium was built for the 2007 Pan American Games and opened just one month before the event, after being plagued by delays and cost escalations.