2016 Rio Venues
Rio de Janeiro is gearing up for the 2016 Summer Games, and the city is hard at work preparing the 2016 Rio venues. This will be an iconic year, as it is the first time a South American city will host the Summer Games. From an extensive renovation of Maracana Stadium to a full infrastructure overhaul of the transportation system, Rio de Janeiro is well on its way to completing work on the Rio Summer Games venues.
Maracana Stadium will be one of the most important 2016 Summer Games venues, as it will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2016 Games. Maracana Stadium will also host the football finals for the Summer Games. The stadium is undergoing extensive renovations in preparation for the 2014 World Cup as well as the 2016 Summer Gamess—the current seating bowl will be demolished and a new luxurious seating bowl will take its place.
Engenhao Stadium, also known as Joao Havelange Stadium, is one of the top Rio venues as it will host the Athletic Events portion of the games. While it has primarily been used for football matches in the past, it will be the main venue for the track and field competitions, and is currently being renovated to accommodate 60,000 guests for the 2016 Games.
Maria Lenk Aquatic Center
The Maria Lenk Aquatic Center is part of a sports complex in the neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, and will become one of the Rio venues for the aquatic events, hosting water polo and diving. The Maria Lenk Aquatic Center includes an open-air pool and covered seating for 8,000 people. A state-of-the-art new Aquatics Stadium will be built right next to the Maria Lenk Center, the construction of which is slated to begin in 2013. It will be an impressive sight, with a futuristic design similar to Beijing's Water Cube, and will host the swimming and synchronized swimming events.
The HSBC Arena, an indoor arena, will play host to the basketball, trampoline, and gymnastics events of the 2016 Games. It can seat up to 15,000 people, and is a popular venue for sporting events as well as concerts by international stars. One interesting fact about the HSBC arena is that its name may be covered up during the 2016 Summer Games, as corporate sponsorship is not permitted at the Games.
Sambadrome Summer Games
There are several other 2016 Summer Games venues in Rio de Janeiro. Copacabana Beach, and its world-famous 2 1/2 miles of smooth sand, will host the marathon swimming, triathlon, and beach volleyball events. The Sambadrome is one of the most unique venues: it is a parade area with stands built right on a downtown street in Rio, and will host the marathon and archery events. Maracanazinho Gymnasium, a comfortable air-conditioned indoor arena, will be the site for the volleyball events. The rowing and canoeing events will be held at beautiful Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, a calm lagoon in the south of Rio, surrounded by parks and close to Copacabana and Ipanema.
Top image: Alex Carvalho (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0