RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Maracana Stadium will close after this weekend’s Brazilian league games for field renovations ahead of the 78,000-seat venue hosting the Copa Libertadores final Nov. 4.
The first steps will be for “necessary verifications and evaluations for the planning of the works,” the stadium's administrator said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The damage that has been caused cannot be reversed without an interruption (of play),” the statement said.
No timeframe was specified to re-open the stadium. Rio de Janeiro clubs fear that the closure could be lengthy.
Heavy rains and excessive action on the pitch over the past three months have affected play and increased the risk of injuries. Puddles formed in the penalty boxes in the latest Brazilian championship and Copa Libertadores matches in the stadium.
This year, the Maracana has hosted 55 matches, the highest number of any stadium in Brazil during that period. Stadia in Europe host on average 30 matches per season, the administrator said.
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