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
Estádio Nilton Santos is located in Rio de Janeiro
Estádio Nilton Santos
Estádio Nilton Santos
Estádio Nilton Santos within the city of Rio de Janeiro
Full name Estádio Nilton Santos [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 R$380 million[3] (US$192 million)
Architect Carlos Porto[4]
Botafogo (2007–)
2011 Military World Games
2016 Summer Olympics
2016 Summer Paralympics

The Estádio Nilton Santos (English: Nilton Santos Stadium) is a multi-use stadium located in the neighbourhood of Engenho de Dentro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is used mostly for football matches and athletics and is the home field of the football club Botafogo. The stadium will be an athletics venue for the 2016 Summer Olympics and 2016 Summer Paralympics.[2]

The stadium is known by a number of names. The nickname Engenhão ([ẽʒẽˈɲɐ̃w̃]) refers to the location of the stadium. Since 2015 the Rio municipality has allowed Botafogo 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][5]

The stadium is scheduled to host the athletics competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics.[6] 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.[7]


The stadium cost R$380 million (US$192 million)[8] 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),[9][10] the actual cost was thus 533% higher than early estimates.[11] The stadium's official name was "Estádio Olímpico João Havelange" (João Havelange Olympic Stadium) until 2015 when the official name became "Estádio Nilton Santos" (Nilton Santos Stadium) by request of Botafogo, the owner of the stadium.

The stadium opened on 30 June 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.[12] 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).[13]

On 3 August 2007, Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas signed a deal with the City of Rio de Janeiro to rent the stadium for 20 years.[14] 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 11 August 2007, a 15-meter long and 6-meter high stadium wall collapsed, but nobody was hurt.[15]

On 10 September 2008, the Brazilian national team played for the first time at the Engenhão.[16] The match, against Bolivia, for 2010 World Cup Qualification, ended 0-0.[17]

The stadium remains owned by the City of Rio de Janeiro, but it has been rented to Botafogo until at least 2027 (20 years).[14]

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.

Nilton Santos statue in front the stadium entrance.

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.[18]

It was announced on 8 June 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.[19]

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:[20]

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, 22 & 23 May 2011), Justin Bieber (My World Tour, 5 & 6 October 2011) and Roger Waters (The Wall Live, 29 March 2012). For live concerts, the stadiums can be hold from 20,000 to 45,000 people.

A panoramic shot of the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange during a football match between Botafogo and Avaí in October 2009


  1. ^ a b "Prefeito permite, e Engenhão "vira" Estádio Nilton Santos". Terra Brasil (in Portuguese). 10 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015. ...o nome oficial continua sendo Estádio Olímpico Municipal João Havelange... 
  2. ^ a b "João Havelange Sports Complex". Brazilian Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2007. 
  3. ^ a b c Bandeira, Luiza (3 August 2007). "Clube Botafogo administrará estádio olímpico do Engenhão". Agência Brasil (in Portuguese). Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Engenhão foi inspirado em Niemeyer". Lancenet (in Portuguese) (Microsoft). 30 June 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2007. 
  5. ^ "Prefeito permite que Engenhão mude para Estádio Nilton Santos". Fox Sports (in Portuguese). 10 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Sport and Venues" (PDF). Rio 2016 Committee. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Rio stadium roof problems serious, say engineers". euronews. 27 March 2013. Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  8. ^ As per the average exchange rate in 2007.
  9. ^ Leister Filho, Adalberto; Grijó, Fabio; Rangel, Sérgio (1 July 2007). "Abertura do Engenhão ressuscita tradições" (PDF). Folha de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 1 July 2015 – via Centro de Memória Inezil Penna Marinho. 
  10. ^ Rangel, Sérgio (23 May 2007). "Vereadores do Rio aprovam CPI para investigar o Pan-2007". Folha de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  11. ^ estádio olimpico de atletismo detalhado e demarcado
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "Na inauguração do Engenhão, Bota vence Flu e dispara na ponta". UOL Esporte (in Portuguese). 30 June 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2007. 
  14. ^ a b "Botafogo vai administrar estádio olímpico do Engenhão" (in Portuguese). Correio Web. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  15. ^ "Muro do Engenhão desaba no Rio sem deixar feridos" (in Portuguese). A Tarde On Line. 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  16. ^ "Seleção principal estréia no Engenhão com bom retrospecto do Pan" (in Portuguese). UOL. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  17. ^ "Sob vaias, Brasil é apático e apenas empata com a Bolívia". Gazeta Esporttva (in Portuguese). 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2008-09-11 – via Futebol de Norte. 
  18. ^ "Rio Olympics stadium closed due to roof problems". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 27 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  19. ^ "Rio 2016 athletics venue to be closed until year before Games while urgent repairs carried out". Inside the Games. Dunsar Media. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  20. ^ "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