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Estádio Beira-Rio

Coordinates: 30°3′56.21″S 51°14′9.91″W / 30.0656139°S 51.2360861°W / -30.0656139; -51.2360861
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Estádio José Pinheiro Borda
Beira-Rio, Gigante da Beira-Rio
Full nameEstádio José Pinheiro Borda
LocationAv. Padre Cacique, 621-1571, Praia de Belas, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Coordinates30°3′56.21″S 51°14′9.91″W / 30.0656139°S 51.2360861°W / -30.0656139; -51.2360861
OwnerSport Club Internacional
OperatorSPE Holding Beira-Rio S/A
Record attendance106,554
Field size105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Broke groundSeptember 12, 1956
OpenedApril 6, 1969
RenovatedAutumn 2013
Construction costR$ 330 million (renovation)
ArchitectHype Studio
Internacional (1969–present)
Brazil national football team (selected matches)

Estádio José Pinheiro Borda, better known as Estádio Beira-Rio, or Gigante da Beira-Rio or simply Beira-Rio, (Portuguese pronunciation: [esˈtadʒiu ˈbejɾɐ ˈʁiu], Riverside Stadium) due to its location beside the Guaíba River, is a football stadium in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. It serves as the home stadium for Sport Club Internacional, replacing their previous stadium, the Estádio dos Eucaliptos. It is named after José Pinheiro Borda (1897–1965), an elderly Portuguese engineer who supervised the building of the stadium but died before seeing its completion.

Estádio Beira-Rio was one of the 12 venues used for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, hosting five of the matches in the tournament.

General information

  • Grass: TifGrand
  • Box offices: 4, with 68 booths
  • Toilets: 81
  • Capacity 50,128 (7,500 VIP seats)
  • Executive suites 125 (70 suites + 55 skyboxes)
  • Video screens 2 (100 m2 (1,100 sq ft) each)
  • Parking 5,500
  • Record Attendance 106,554 (Rio Grande do Sul All-Stars 3–3 Brazil national football team, on June 17, 1972)




Land fill for the Beira-Rio construction

No exact records exist regarding when the idea to construct Beira-Rio originated. However, it is known that the first significant step towards building the stadium occurred on September 12, 1956. On this date, Ephraim Pinheiro Cabral, a former president of Internacional from 1951 to 1952, proposed a project in the Porto Alegre City Council to donate an eight-hectare plot of land to the Clube do Povo for the construction of a new stadium. The only complication was that the land was situated within the Rio Guaíba. Hence, if the proposal were to be approved, filling the area would be necessary before commencing construction.[2]

The landfill started to become a reality in late 1957 with the arrival of the 'Ster' dredger. Celebrated by Internacional's directors, this event served as symbolic event for the future construction of an unprecedented venue in the southern region of the country. Nevertheless, there were times when the construction lagged behind. At the time, there were many skeptics who joked that he was actually buying a 'Floating Seat'. Despite the jokes, even depicted in newspaper cartoons, the early 1960s marked the beginning of positive developments for the landfill taking shape over the Guaíba. Led by José Pinheiro Borda, who would later have the stadium officially named after him, a Portuguese immigrant who arrived in Porto Alegre in 1929 and quickly became devoted to Internacional. A Works Commission was then promptly established.[2]

Beside Borda on the committee were Ephraim, serving as vice-president; Manoel Tavares, Eraldo Hermann, and José Asmus, overseeing purchase of materials; Arno Larsen, Paulo Reginato, and Jader de Souza, handling treasury matters; Aldo Dias Rosa and Hugo Martins Martinez, managing accounting tasks; alongside Rui Tedesco and Thompson Flores, focusing on the technical aspects of the project. The team facilitated progress at the so-called Giant, collaborating with the municipality to acquire new machinery for efficiency. Additionally, they emphasized the importance of fan support, recognizing it as a significant factor in advancing the stadium's construction efforts.[2]

Construction of Beira-Rio in the Guaíba Lake in the 1960s

Radio campaigns began urging both male and female supporters from all over Rio Grande to donate materials such as bricks, cement, and iron. In an effort to boost enthusiasm among fans, even a scale model of the new stadium, representing its still early stages of development, was unveiled to the public during a ceremony organized on October 6, 1962. In that same year the cornerstone of the stadium was laid, and the former river turned into a true construction site. Tunnels began to emerge, quickly followed by the structures of the grandstands. The intense pace further excited the fans, boosting the sales of fundraising bonds for the construction. After totaling two thousand in the first year of sales, they quickly reached the mark of forty thousand. The support was so significant that, at one point, in an interview with Zero Hora, Borda admitted to not fully grasping the dimensions of the club he was leading, it was too vast.[2]

The excitement among fans went beyond simply looking forward to the new stadium. It was also hoped that with the inauguration of the stadium, the team's performance on the field would improve. After enjoying considerable success in the 1940s and 1950s, the club had recently experienced a downturn, with only one state championship victory in 1961. Disheartened by the team's losses at the old Eucaliptos stadium, supporters even found solace by visiting the construction site of the future stadium.[2]

All the frenzy had to be subdued in 1965. In stark contrast to the optimism of the early decade, that year became etched in Inter's history with two significant and harsh setbacks. Financed with its own resources, the construction works of the Beira-Rio had to be halted, reflecting the club's weakened finances. The works were only resumed thanks to the assistance of the Banco da Província, secured through the Works Committee. In a tragic turn of events, José Pinheiro Borda, who was still leading the efforts of the construction, died on April 25, 1965, shortly after expressing in an interview his ongoing prayer to witness the completion of the Gigante da Beira-Rio. His death deeply affected the entire city, prompting a movement among Porto Alegre's society to honor him by naming the rising stadium after the Portuguese man.[2]

Aerial view of the Beira-Rio stadium in the 1960s.

The fans continued to take center stage in 1967, a year in which the appeal for donations was intensified, launching the Brick Campaign on November 26 during a match between Inter and Farroupilha at the Eucaliptos stadium. On that occasion, in addition to the presence of the players from the current squad, who took to the field with a banner urging the fans to make donations, club legends like Tesourinha and Carlitos strongly embraced the movement.[2]

In 1968, the stadium already appeared to be ready. Imposing, incorporating architectural features inspired by the Tokyo Olympic Stadium and the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. With most of the structure completed, only a few finishing touches remained for the grand inauguration. The Gigante underwent its first major tests. In March 1968, for example, the stadium hosted the final of the 10th Gaúcho Beach Soccer Championship between Cidreira and a selection of other participating teams. Fifteen thousand people attended the event.[2]

Beira-Rio stands in the 1960s

Grandiose and sublime, in 1969 the Gigante was ready to welcome over 100 thousand people on Sunday, April 6. Beyond its beauty, the Beira-Rio also drew attention for the modernity of its facilities. In total, there were 28 press booths, four of which were allocated for TV, another four for print media, and the rest for radio stations. Access to the sector was through luxurious elevators, which also led to the stands, or through artistic staircases exclusive to media professionals.[2]

Regarding the press booths, it's worth mentioning that the new Colorado stadium was unique globally in having one equipped with Telex, a system that transmitted information to London and Lisbon on the day of the inauguration. Notably, luxury wasn't limited to journalists but extended to athletes, who enjoyed thermal baths in the locker rooms, a rarity in fields worldwide. Fans, too, shared in the luxury, with the privilege of following match updates on the impressive electronic scoreboard behind the south goal of the Beira-Rio. Thus, living up to the expectations built over thirteen years of construction, ready to play a prominent role nationally and internationally, honoring Ephraim's vision, Borda's work, the dedication of Tedesco and Herrmann, and above all, the hope and dedication of the red supporters, the Giganteda Beira-Rio emerged on Easter Sunday.[2]


Claudiomiro scores the first goal for Internacional at Beira-Rio stadium against Benfica.

On Easter Sunday, April 6, 1969, the Beira-Rio was officially opened. It was considered the most magnificent and opulent stadium in Brazil at the time. On that morning, all attention in the capital of Rio Grande do Sul focused on the Gigante, as the city adorned itself in red, whether through flags, pieces of red fabric, or the presence of red on cars and pedestrians.[3]

The club urged fans to ignite fireworks at dawn in an event dubbed the "Red Dawn" or "Red Awakening". Planned for 7 a.m., the first explosions echoed before 6 a.m., showcasing the eager anticipation of supporters. It's no surprise, considering 13 years had passed since the approval of the project for the team's new home. The spectacle, a sight to behold, more than compensated for every second that had elapsed since 1956.[3]

A crowd of approximately 100 thousand people went to the stadium to watch the festival of performances, a public turnout never seen before in any stadium in Rio Grande do Sul. In the same place where the cornerstone was celebrated in 1963, Bishop Edmundo Kunz blessed the stadium. On the field, around 1:30 p.m., the Military Band of the 18th Infantry Regiment of São Leopoldo, accompanying Governor Walter Peracchi de Barcelos at the time, played the national anthem. Following that, the officials escorted engineer Ruy Tedesco, head of the construction committee, to the field's center. There, surrounded by his peers, he ceremonially cut the symbolic ribbon marking the stadium's inauguration. In that long-awaited moment, a dream that had seemed nearly unattainable a decade prior was officially fulfilled.[3]

For the first game, Inter invited twice champions in Europe and finalists five times during the decade, then current champions of the Portuguese championship, Benfica, which boasted one of the greatest players of all time – Eusébio – to face the Colorado team in the inaugural match at the Beira-Rio. It was a tough encounter, particularly for the young Colorado team. Despite the challenges, however, Inter made it clear who was in charge at the Gigante. After all, Colorado would never allow themselves to endure the shame of being defeated in the first match at their own stadium. Inter took the lead, spurred on by the enthusiastic crowd. With excitement, Valdomiro made a run down the right flank and delivered a cross at the 24th minute. Gilson Porto, positioned on the left side of Benfica's penalty area, struck the ball first-time back into the mix. There, Claudiomiro, only 19 years old, found himself well-placed between the defenders to head the ball accurately into the net scoring 1–0, and the stadium erupted with excitement.[3]

In the second half, Eusébio scored the equalizer at the 23rd minute, capitalizing on a refereeing mistake where a free kick, initially signaled for two touches, was converted with just one. However, the Portuguese icon had little time to celebrate as Gilson Porto, less than five minutes later, magnificently beat goalkeeper José Henrique from another set-piece, sealing the match's final score. Even in its early days, the Beira-Rio demonstrated its potential to become a key figure in Brazilian football history.[3]

Stage of many titles

Internacional fans at Beira-Rio during 1979 Brazilian Championship

Most of Internacional's most important titles were won playing on the Beira-Rio. Stage of great victories and achievements since its inception. Right in its first decade of existence, the Giagante reinforced Inter's sovereignty in Rio Grande do Sul and also helped the club conquer Brazil. In 1975, just six years after its opening, Beira-Rio hosted its inaugural Brasileirão final on December 14. Inter and Cruzeiro, two national giants, competed for the national trophy, with Figueroa emerging as the hero. Under a mysterious beam of sunlight, he leapt to head Valdomiro's cross into Raul's net, securing victory for the Colorado and their place atop the nation's footballing hierarchy for the first time.[4]

Beira-Rio once again hosted the Brazilian Championship final the following year, in 1976. Inter welcomed Corinthians after eliminating Atlético Mineiro in the previous stage. This journey included Falcão's masterpiece goal, forever immortalized as one of the most beautiful moments in the history of the stadium.[4]

Concluding the 1970s, Beira-Rio served as the cradle for one of the greatest teams in Brazilian football history, capable of winning a Brasileirão with an impeccable campaign from start to finish, marked by the impressive absence of defeats. Undefeated, Internacional defeated Vasco 2–1 on December 23, 1979, thus securing the national tri-championship once again within its home grounds.[4]

The 1980s weren't as glorious, but they hold an important chapter in the history of Inter and the stadium. On February 12, 1989, Beira-Rio hosted, for the second leg of the 1988 Brasileirão semifinals, its greatest rival, Grêmio, in what became known as the Grenal of the Century. The audience's anticipation for the match was matched by the turnout, with a total of 78,083 people filling the Beira-Rio stands, and their fervor was rewarded. The red side ended the first half down 1–0 and with just ten players on the pitch after Grêmio dominated the first 45 minutes. In the second half, pushed by a large crowd at Beira-Rio, the Colorados came from behind to defeat Grêmio 2–1 with two goals scored by striker Nílson.[5]

Internacional and LDU Quito in the 2006 Copa Libertadores quarter-final at Beira-Rio.
Beira-Rio in 2009

In 1992, Beira-Rio hosted the second leg of the Copa do Brasil final, Inter had to overturn the 2–1 scoreline of the first match and it did. The title-winning goal came in a dramatic fashion: a penalty kick by Célio Silva in the 88th minute and the club secured the title due to the away goals rule.[6]

In the 2000s, Inter had an impressive sequence of international titles, all of the won on Beira-Rio. Starting with the 2006 Copa Libertadores. After a triumphant 2–1 victory at Morumbi, Inter drew 2–2 with São Paulo FC. There were 57,554 fans at the Gigante on the night of August 16. The first goal came at the 29th minute of the first half, aided by Ceni, who failed to hold onto a cross, allowing Fernandão to score. At the 20th minute of the second half, Tinga scored and made it clear to everyone: the Copa Libertadores was not going to slip away. And indeed, it did not.[4]

In 2007 Beira-Rio hosted Recopa Sudamericana final and once again Inter was successful on its home ground. After a setback of 2–1 in the first match, the second leg was fueled by the young Alexandre Pato, and Internacional thrashed the Mexicans of Pachuca by 4–0, with two goals from Pato, another from Pinga, and one more from Alex, sending 51,023 people into ecstasy.[4]

In 2008 another international final at the Beira-Rio, and another triumph for Inter. Even with one player less, Inter defeated Estudiantes de La Plata in the first leg, played at the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, by 1–0. The following week, 51,803 fans acted as the 12th player in the most crucial moments and provided extra energy in the search for the title-winning goal, which was scored by Nilmar in extra time. As the center circle was pointed out, the crowd repeated the spectacle from the moment the teams entered the field, with their flares and fireworks illuminating the Porto Alegre night.[4]

Beira-Rio in 2009

In 2010 Internacional once again reached the final of the Libertadores and once again the second leg was played at the mythical Beira-Rio. Playing against Chivas Guadalajara in Mexico, the Colorado team won 2–1. At Beira-Rio, it won 3–2, driven by a frenzied crowd, before the game was conducted by an orchestra and during the 90 minutes, it promoted a great spectacle. Once the match was over, it became official. South America was red once again.[4]

In 2011, with the stadium already under renovation for the World Cup and with limited capacity, it rewarded every Inter supporter with a 3–1 victory led by Leandro Damião, who scored twice, and Kléber, who converted a penalty, securing the victory and the Recopa Sudamericana title. This was the last title won outside the state realm before the stadium's remodeling.[4]

Giant Forever: renovation

Beira-Rio during the renovation works in 2012.

The Beira-Rio underwent a major modernization process aimed at the 2014 World Cup. The works of the project, called 'Gigante Para Sempre' (Giant Forever), lasted about two years, beginning with minor works in 2010 and picking up in March 2012, when the partnership with Andrade Gutierrez kicked off.[7] The stadium was completely closed for renovations for the World Cup starting in December 2012. During this period, Inter had to make do with temporary homes, such as Estádio do Vale in Novo Hamburgo and Estádio Centenário in Caxias do Sul. A nomadic life was seen as the main villain behind the poor performance in the 2013 season. [8]

During this period, the home of the colorados was adapted to the international football standards and requirements set by FIFA, becoming more comfortable and safe. Despite intense, the physical transformations imposed on the Gigante in no way shook a certainty shared by all supporters: the soul of the Beira-Rio remains intact. Stage of countless triumphs, the home of Internacional continues at the same place that offered so many special memories to the fans.[1]

Beira-Rio's new roof has become an architectural landmark of Porto Alegre.
The scenic lighting of the roof can color the stadium in different shades, here seen in red during the 2015 season.

The stadium new roof is the trademark of the new Beira-Rio. Composed of 65 interlocked modules, totaling a structure of approximately 4,700 tons of steel, the roof is one of the most charming parts of the modernization process. Built with a steel structure, it reaches 36 meters in height and 53 meters in length, with its membrane made of PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene). In the main modules, the membrane is opaque, while in the spaces between panels, it is translucent, optimizing the internal lighting of the Giant. The equipment has a series of advantages and safety features, such as a surface with non-stick properties, facilitating cleaning, non-flammable properties, safe against fire, as well as being composed of material immune to ultraviolet radiation and resistant to corrosive agents. Standing out prominently, the scenic lighting is also noteworthy, capable of coloring the Beira-Rio in a variety of colors. The system adopts 910 projectors of 41 watts, distributing 14 reflectors per roof panel. This is how the Giant manages to adapt to any imagined scenario.[1]

From the original structure of the Beira-Rio, the entire upper bleachers and the retaining wall of the lower ones were preserved. The old canopy, located on the side closest to the river, and the popularly known "cap," next to Padre Cacique, were also kept, although with alterations, to accommodate the Upper Boxes and the COC (Command Operations Center).[1]



The permanent grass installed is Bermuda Tifgrand, while in winter, Ryegrass is planted. The field's drainage system is vacuum-based, ensuring playable conditions even under heavy rain. The lawn irrigation operates from 15 reservoirs of 12 thousand liters each, totaling a reserve of 180 thousand liters. As for hydraulic distribution, the system has 24 sprinklers to irrigate the playing field.[1]


Beira-Rio is the second biggest stadium in south Brazil.

Beira-Rio is the second biggest stadium in the Rio Grande do Sul state and also South Brazil and can currently accommodate a total of 50,848 people, including seating in the stands, 71 skyboxes located on the stadium's fourth level, 39 grandstands featuring two lounges, and 55 upper-level skyboxes with an 18-person capacity each. Additionally, a standing area introduced in early 2019 can now hold up 5,000 supporters. In the event of an emergency, the entire stadium can be evacuated in under 8 minutes, in accordance with FIFA's guidelines.[1]



Able to enhance colors and prevent any shadows, the lighting system utilizes 404 projectors, each with a power of 2,000 watts, placing it among the highest standards available in the market. The Beira-Rio has 16 press boxes, with 12 of them being smaller, and another four for television. In addition to these, there is also a space designated for the positioning of game cameras.[1]

The stadium has been adapted to an international standard, ready to host any national or international game. Beira-Rio is one of the three 2014 FIFA World Cup stadiums to be privately owned, alongside Arena da Baixada and Arena Corinthians.[9]

The Beira-Rio complex also houses a chapel, an events center, bars, stores and a parking building for 3,000 cars. Parque Gigante, featuring pools, gyms, football fields, and tennis courts, is located next to it.



The first test event for the new stadium was on February 15, 2014. Internacional beat SER Caxias and won 4–0. The opening match at full capacity, however, was a friendly between Inter and Peñarol played on April 6, 2014. A clash marked by D'Alessandro's star performance, who was the main protagonist of the afternoon. He scored an early goal, just four minutes into the game, officially opening the red house. It was a feat celebrated with hands on his face, as if trying to hide a choked-up cry. A fitting tribute to the team's technical reference for over a decade. D'Alessandro also scored the second goal, from a penalty giving the 2–1 victory over the Charruas. [8]

2014 FIFA World Cup

Date Time (UTC-03) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
June 15, 2014 16:00  France 3–0  Honduras Group E 43,012
June 18, 2014 13:00  Australia 2–3  Netherlands Group B 42,877
June 22, 2014 16:00  South Korea 2–4  Algeria Group H 42,732
June 25, 2014 13:00  Nigeria 2–3  Argentina Group F 43,285
June 30, 2014 17:00  Germany 2–1 (a.e.t.)  Algeria Round of 16 43,063


Concerts at Estádio Beira-Rio
Date Artist Tour Attendance
10 October 2011 Justin Bieber My World Tour 20,698
25 March 2012 Roger Waters The Wall Live 42,436
11 April 2015 Roberto Carlos TBA 40,000
17 October 2015 Los Hermanos Turnê de Reunião 15,000
2 March 2016 The Rolling Stones América Latina Olé Tour 2016 49,073
12 June 2016 Ana Carolina & Seu Jorge Ana & Jorge 12,000
11 October 2016 Aerosmith Rock 'N' Roll Rumble Tour 19,476
8 November 2016 Guns N' Roses Not in This Lifetime... Tour 50,567
2 December 2016 Nando Reis + Natiruts + Criolo POA Love Festival 8,000
4 April 2017 Elton John + James Taylor Wonderful Crazy Night Tour 17,987
6 September 2017 Leonardo e Eduardo Costa Cabaré 5,000
19 September 2017 Bon Jovi This House Is Not for Sale Tour 45,000
26 September 2017 The Who + Def Leppard The Who Tour 2017 16,000
13 October 2017 Paul McCartney One On One Tour 45,774
24 October 2017 John Mayer The Search for Everything World Tour 20,000
7 November 2017 Green Day Revolution Radio Tour 18,000
27 February 2018 Phil Collins Not Dead Yet Tour 28,000
4 March 2018 Foo Fighters + Queens of the Stone Age Concrete and Gold Tour 41,000

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Giganta Pra Sempre". April 12, 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Beira Rio: Construção". April 12, 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Beira Rio: Inauguração". April 12, 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Templo Sagrado". April 12, 2024.
  5. ^ "Aquele domingo em chamas: 30 anos do Gre-Nal do Século". February 12, 2019.
  6. ^ "História do Clube". April 9, 2024.
  7. ^ "Pressionada, Andrade Gutierrez vê tempo hábil para obras até a Copa". February 27, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "O protagonista: D'Ale brilha, e Inter vence Peñarol na volta do Beira-Rio". April 6, 2014.
  9. ^ "O legado da Copa: o que será dos 12 estádios usados no Mundial". July 15, 2014.
Preceded by Copa Libertadores
First leg Final Venue

Estadio Centenario, Montevideo (Second leg)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Copa Libertadores
First leg Final Venue

Estádio do Morumbi, São Paulo (Second leg)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Copa Libertadores
Second leg Final Venue

Estádio do Morumbi, São Paulo (First leg)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Recopa Sudamericana
Second leg Final Venue

Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca (First leg)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Copa Sudamericana
Second leg Final Venue

Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata (First leg)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Recopa Sudamericana
First leg Final Venue

Estadio Casa Blanca, Quito (Second leg)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Copa Libertadores
Second leg Final Venue

Estadio Omnilife, Zapopan (First leg)
Succeeded by
Preceded by Recopa Sudamericana
Second leg Final Venue

Estadio Libertadores de América, Avellaneda (First leg)
Succeeded by