Unlike other Brazilian cities, Cuiaba may not be the best location to host the coveted FIFA World Cup. The place lacks the unique charm of soccer and party what a visitor expects from Brazil. But amidst all the negative factors, Cuiaba is still a place to boast of because of the underlying beauty of people and places that culminates in one single location.
The capital of the state Mato Grosso, Cuiaba is exactly situated in the center of the country. The city is noted for its cultural activities and gastronomy and is considered the urban seat of the state.
The location of Cuiaba has slowed down the city from further development and communication and even caused its labour shortage. Moreover, it is not a place frequented by travellers unless one plans to visit the spectacular natural beauty in the wetlands of Pantanal. The region is considered as the best location in South America to catch unique flora and fauna that adorns this region.
The Arena Pantanal was constructed with the intent to host the World Cup. The old stadium, Estádio José Fragelli, was replaced by the new one and will be considered as the main football stadium of the state.
Estádio José Fragelli was demolished in 2010 to finish the new one within the deadline as set by FIFA to host the matches. However, during construction, there came a lot of protest and hassles. Initially the status looked grim with high probability of failure to accomplish the project within time. But the valiant efforts put behind setting-up the stadium finally came as a success, albeit delayed.
The stadium offers 43,000 seating capacity during the World Cup. Around 15,000 seats will be removed after the end of the tournament.
Arena Pantanal was built by GCP Arquitetos. Their main focus was to exercise maximum sustainability and security, essential to host such a gigantic event.
Rows of plants have been planted on every corner of the stadium, along with giant parking space to accommodate 15,000 vehicles.
Travel and Living
Arena Pantanal is located around 4 miles from the center of the city and it is easy to reach the stadium by taking a cab for a short ride.
During the World Cup it expects a large crowd will turn up in this small city. There are couple of good hotels near the stadium and the central area of the city. But considering the anticipated heavy rush, it is better to book a place beforehand.
Cuiaba is known for its intense heat during the summer. But in the winter season, the temperature drops to an average of 16 °C, giving respite from the bludgeoning heat. Those planning to catch live actions in the city will face a nice cool weather during the World Cup since June and July are the coldest months.
The Arena Pantanal is slated to host four group matches. These are: Chile vs. Australia (June 13), Russia vs. South Korea (June 17), Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Hercegovina (June 21) and Japan vs. Colombia (June 24).