Old and New Collide in Sao Paulo

The city’s iconic Pacaembu Stadium contrasts a sleek, crosstown arena

By Dan Stelly | Photo via Wally Gobetz

Tenants: None

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Capacity: 37,730

Opened: 1940


As is the case with most Brazilian cities, new and old constantly intersect in São Paulo. The city’s crosstown stadiums are participants in the fascinating dichotomy, with the sleek Arena Corinthians — constructed for the 2014 World Cup — juxtaposed against the 75-year-old Pacaembu Stadium. Today, the legendary ground is no longer home to a permanent tenant, but the former home of Brazilian powerhouse Corinthians still contains plenty of championship memories, particularly from a dominant run of play during the 1980s and 90s.

There’s also the 1950 World Cup, a tournament most local folk would rather forget following Brazil’s capitulation in the final to Uruguay. Pacamebu played host to six matches, including Brazil’s 2–2 draw with Switzerland, but the responsibility of hosting the nation’s most famous loss ultimately fell on the shoulders of the Maracanã.

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Note: Each week, we highlight a new stadium, from Old Trafford and the Camp Nou to Rhyl FC’s 3,000-seat Belle Vue ground. If you’d like to have this feature (along with other dispatches from the soccer universe) delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our weekly bulletin.

Additional photos: Rob & Imagens Portal SESCSP