Estádio Olímpico João Havelange

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For the stadium in Palmas, Tocantins, see Estádio Nilton Santos (Palmas).
Estádio Nilton Santos
Nilton Santos, Engenhão
Stitched 003.jpg
Full name Estádio Olímpico João Havelange[1]
Location Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Public transit Olímpica de Engenho de Dentro Station, SuperVia
Owner Prefecture of Rio de Janeiro
Operator Botafogo
Capacity 46,931[2]
Surface Grass (105 x 68m)
Built 2003–2007
Opened 2007
Construction cost US$ 192 million or (R$380 million [3]
Architect Carlos Porto[4]
Botafogo (2007–)
2011 Military World Games
2016 Summer Olympics
2016 Summer Paralympics

The Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, better known since 2015 as Estádio Nilton Santos,[1][5] also known by its nickname Engenhão ([ẽʒẽˈɲɐ̃w̃]), or simply Estádio Olímpico do Rio or the Rio Olympic Stadium, is a multi-use stadium located in the bairro (neighbourhood) of Engenho de Dentro (hence its nickname) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is used mostly for football matches and athletics and is the home field of the football club Botafogo.[2]

In 2015 the Rio de Janeiro municipality allowed Botafogo (the stadium concessionaire), to refer to the stadium as Estádio Nilton Santos (English: Nilton Santos Stadium). The name honors Nilton Santos, regarded as one of the greatest defenders in the history of the game and a member of the World Team of the 20th Century. The stadium was built by a consortium under the leadership of Odebrecht S.A..[1][6]

The stadium is scheduled to host the athletics competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics.[7] Structural problems in the roof were identified in March 2013 that caused the stadium to be closed for repair. The stadium's capacity is intended to be increased to 60,000 for the Games.[8]


The stadium cost R$380 million (US$192 million)[9] to build, which was six times the stadium's original construction budget of $60,000,000[3] The Mayor's office estimated in 2003 that the total construction cost would be of R$60 million (US$30 million),[10][11] the actual cost was thus 533% higher than early estimates.[12]

The stadium opened on June 30, 2007. The first match held was a Campeonato Brasileiro Série A game between Botafogo and Fluminense. 40,000 tickets were available for the match and were exchanged for donations of powdered milk.[13] In all, 43,810 people were at the stadium to watch the inaugurating match, where Botafogo beat Fluminense 2-1. The first goal of the match was scored by Fluminense's Alex Dias. As Dias scored the first goal in the stadium's history, he was awarded the Valdir Pereira Trophy (Taça Valdir Pereira), which was named after retired footballer Didi. Because Botafogo won the stadium's inaugural match, the club was awarded the João Havelange Trophy (Taça João Havelange).[14]

On August 3, 2007, Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas signed a deal with the City of Rio de Janeiro to rent the stadium for 20 years.[15] Botafogo was the only organization to present a bid; the club agreed to pay $18.200 (or R$36.000) a month to rent Engenhão, plus maintenance costs which run at $2 million (or R$4 million) annually.[3]

On August 11, 2007, a 15-meter long and 6-meter high stadium wall collapsed, but nobody was hurt.[16]

On September 10, 2008, the Brazilian national team played for the first time ever in the Engenhão.[17] The match, against Bolivia, for 2010 World Cup Qualification, ended 0-0.[18]

The stadium remains owned by the City of Rio de Janeiro, but it has been rented to Botafogo until at least 2027 (20 years).[15]

The Engenhão was the main venue for top-football competitions in Rio de Janeiro while the Maracanã Stadium was under reform in preparations for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics; the Flamengo and Fluminense clubs played their home matches at the Engenhão from the 2010-11 through 2012-13 seasons.

The stadium was closed indefinitely in March 2013 after it was found the structural integrity of the roof was not up to standard, and could potentially place spectators at risk.[19]

It was announced on June 8, 2013, that the stadium will need a minimum of 18 months of reconstruction work and remain closed until 2015 while the repairs are carried out to the roof.[20]

Nilton Santos statue in front the stadium entrance.

2007 Pan American Games[edit]

The stadium hosted athletics competitions in addition to twelve games of the first stage of the men's and women's football tournaments of the 2007 Pan American Games:[21]

Other uses[edit]

Occasionally, the stadium also hosts concerts and has become a major location for this purpose in Rio de Janeiro since it opened, but more significantly after the Maracanã Stadium was closed in 2010 for renovations in preparation for World Cup 2014.

Among the artists who have performed at the stadium include: Paul McCartney (Up and Coming Tour, May 22 & 23, 2011), Justin Bieber (My World Tour, October 5 & 6, 2011) and Roger Waters (The Wall Live, March 29, 2012). For live concerts, the stadiums can be hold from 20,000 to 45,000 people.


  1. ^ a b c "Prefeito permite, e Engenhão "vira" Estádio Nilton Santos". Terra Brasil. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015. ...o nome oficial continua sendo Estádio Olímpico Municipal João Havelange... 
  2. ^ a b "Nilton Santos Sports Complex". Brazilian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ "Engenhão foi inspirado em Niemeyer" (in Portuguese). Lancenet. 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  5. ^ "Estádio Nilton Santos" (in Portuguese). Official change of the stadium name, document photo. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Estádio Nilton Santos" (in Portuguese). Prefeito permite que Engenhão mude para Estádio Nilton Santos. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  7. ^ bid package. Volume 2. p. 18.
  8. ^
  9. ^ As per the average exchange rate in 2007.
  10. ^¦o%20ressuscita%20tradiçSes.pdf
  11. ^
  12. ^ estádio olimpico de atletismo detalhado e demarcado
  13. ^ "Clássico entre Botafogo e Fluminense não terá venda de ingressos" (in Portuguese). Jornal do Brasil. 2007-06-22. Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-06-23. 
  14. ^ "Na inauguração do Engenhão, Bota vence Flu e dispara na ponta" (in Portuguese). UOL Esporte. 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  15. ^ a b "Botafogo vai administrar estádio olímpico do Engenhão" (in Portuguese). Correio Web. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  16. ^ "Muro do Engenhão desaba no Rio sem deixar feridos" (in Portuguese). A Tarde On Line. 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  17. ^ "Seleção principal estréia no Engenhão com bom retrospecto do Pan" (in Portuguese). UOL. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  18. ^ "Sob vaias, Brasil é apático e apenas empata com a Bolívia" (in Portuguese). Gazeta Esporttva. 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2008-09-11. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Rio Olympics stadium closed due to roof problems". BBC. Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  20. ^ "Rio 2016 athletics venue to be closed until year before Games while urgent repairs carried out". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  21. ^ "Schedule and Results". 2007 Pan American Games official website. Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Olympic Stadium
Olympic Athletics competitions
Main Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Olympic Stadium
Paralympic Athletics competitions
Main Venue

Succeeded by

Coordinates: 22°53′35.42″S 43°17′32.17″W / 22.8931722°S 43.2922694°W / -22.8931722; -43.2922694