March 9 inaugural match for Manaus
Manaus' Amazonia Arena, one of Brazil's 12 World Cup venues, will host its inaugural match on March 9, the Brazilian government said on its World Cup web portal Thursday.
The match will pit modest club sides Nacional and Remo against each other in a quarter-final of the Copa Verde, a regional tournament.
Just 20,000 fans will be admitted -- just under half the capacity of the spectacular new venue -- with 7,000 tickets reserved for site workers and their families.
Luis Fernandes, deputy sports minister and a close ally of President Dilma Rousseff on the World Cup organizing committee, told AFP on February 21: "The Manaus stadium is ready."
He added that Rousseff would want to attend the official inauguration of the venue and would likely go there after the Rio carnival, which ends March 4.
Manaus will host four opening phase matches.
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