Rio 2016 will test operations at Barra Olympic Park with large crowds before the Olympic Games, after it was agreed that volleyball World League and Grand Prix events would be staged at Carioca Arena 1 in June.
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Introducing Carioca Arena 1… the new home of Olympic basketball
The Olympic Tennis Centre staged the first test event in Barra Olympic Park last December, since when Carioca Arena 1 has held basketball, powerlifting and wrestling test events. However, none of these events have featured large crowds, being focused instead on testing competition area operations and the results systems. Barra Olympic Park is currently staging the diving test event – the FINA World Cup, which is also an Olympic qualifier, and is expecting decent-sized crowds this weekend.
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The Grand Prix event, which is played by women’s teams, will take place at Carioca Arena on 9, 10 and 12 June, featuring Brazil, Italy, Japan and Serbia. The men's World League event will be staged on 16, 17 and 18 June, with Brazil, Iran, USA and Argentina the teams taking part. Brazil's match against the USA will start at 11.10pm local time on 18 June with the specific intention of testing operations later at night, as the Olympic tournament will have similarly late-night games.
“This is a time-slot that we specifically need to test,” said Mario Andrada, Rio 2016’s executive director of communications. “Everbody knows the Maracanãzinho is the spiritual home of volleyball in Brazil and so we must thank the CBV and FIVB for their support in agreeing to move these games to Carioca Arena 1.”
Ceremony planning to start at Maracanã
Andrada also confirmed that Rio 2016 will begin to take over the management of the Maracanã stadium – the venue for the Olympic and Paralympic opening and closing ceremonies – on 1 March, assuming full control in May. In March and April, the management and costs of the venue will be shared by Rio 2016 and the promotors of the Coldplay concert that will be staged there on 10 April.
“Since 2014, Rio 2016 has been neogitiating to take control of the Maracanã as soon as possible, with a focus on the opening and closing ceremonies, which are among the biggest spectaculars on the planet,” said Andrada. “Our team needs time to get familiar with the stadium and this will also give us more opportunity to stage rehearsals.”
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