Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 3, 2016 - There couldn't be a more fitting venue in the world to host Olympic volleyball: The Maracanazinho, where every single one of the 76 Rio 2016 volleyball matches will be played, is one of the most iconic volleyball arenas in the world.
FIVB President Ary Graca visited the venue last week to inspect all areas ahead of the Olympic Games. "The people here have worked very hard and the teams can come and expect to participate in the best event ever," he said after completing a round of all the facilities, accompanied by Rio 2016 Volleyball Competition Manager Giovane Gavio, a Brazilian volleyball legend and two-time Olympic gold medallist.
Extensively remodelled for the 2007 Pan American Games the official full capacity of the Maracanazinho is 13,613, though for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games it will be 11,400. For Rio 2016 it is part of the Maracana Cluster, which also includes the Engenhao Olympic Stadium (athletics) and the Sambodromo (archery and marathon).
The indoor arena is located in the Maracana neighbourhood of Rio’s North Zone, right next to the legendary Maracana Stadium, which will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies in addition to football matches of Rio 2016. Incidentaly, the Maracana Stadium holds the all-time volleyball attendance record from when 95,000 turned out to watch Brazil beat the USSR in a open-air friendly game in 1983.
It is officially named ‘Ginasio Gilberto Cardoso’ after a former president of the historic Flamengo club of Rio. The neighbourhood of Maracana (‘parrot’ in the indigenous Tupi-Guarani language) was reclaimed from swamps surrounding the Maracana River, which flows from the Tijuca Forest to Guanabara Bay. The main campus of Rio de Janeiro State University is located in the Maracana neighbourhood.