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By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The roof at the Maracanã Stadium was completed yesterday as the arena nears its completion. The fibreglass and teflon structure is 68.4 meters long and provides protection for ninety five per cent of the 77,000 seats.

The entire roof has been installed at the Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The entire roof has been installed at the Maracanã, photo by Érica Ramalho/Copa2014.

It is now a nigh on certainty that the Maracanã will be finished by April 27th, in just over two weeks’ time. The first test game, using just ten percent of the stadium’s capacity, will then be able to be played.

The exhibition match will not be open to the public. The crowd, of just under 8,000, will be made up of the construction team and their families, as well as Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. The second test game will subsequently take place during the first two weeks of May.

The match will be played at half capacity and there is now a possibility FIFA will allow a Campeonato Carioca game to take place in the Maracanã. The first match to be played at full capacity will be the Brazil versus England friendly on June 2nd, when the stadium will formally be reopened to the general public.

The city’s famous Maracanã Stadium, a tourist attraction, sports venue and building of historical significance, closes its doors in September 2010 for major renovations to meet the requirements of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The renovations were incumbered by several delays and the last estimated costs were close to R$1 billion.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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