Estádio Mineirão (meaning Big Mineiro Stadium), officially Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto (Governor Magalhães Pinto Stadium) established
in 1965 after Governor Magalhães Pinto, is the largest football stadium in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
On February 25, 1960, the government of the Union and the Federal University of Minas Gerais gave Minas Gerais land in the neighborhood of
Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, for the construction of the stadium.
The Mineirão was planned by Eduardo Mendes Guimarães Júnior and Caspar Garreto, both architects. The structural project was undertaken by
engineer Arthur Eugênio Jermann. The construction workmanship was directed by engineer Gil Cesar Moreira de Abreu. From 1963 to the date
of its inauguration on September 5, 1965, approximately five thousand people were involved in the construction.
The festivities marking the opening of the stadium included parachute jumpers, music, and an inaugural football match. The events were attended
by 73,201 people. The inaugural match at Mineirão Stadium was played by the Minas Gerais state team and the Argentinian team, River Plate.
It is said that Mineirão had held 132,834 people in 1997 in the match between Cruzeiro and Villa Nova in the final match of the state league, but in
this match, women and children did not have to pay. The paying attendance was 74,857, and there were 56,618 women and children who entered
for free. For safety reasons the capacity of Mineirão had been reduced for the majority of its 40 years of history. In 2004, by imposition of FIFA,
the capacity of the stadium was reduced to less than 72,000 people.
Since the stadium's opening, three important teams of Belo Horizonte have hosted their matches in Mineirão: Atlético Mineiro, Cruzeiro Esporte
Clube and América Mineiro (which also has a private stadium). Mineirão has also hosted matches of the Brazilian national team.
Atlético Mineiro is the club which brought more people to Mineirão Stadium: until 2002, 20,887,391 people have watched 1,011 matches of
Atlético. The second is Cruzeiro, with 19,544,507 in 1,062 matches. These statistics do not include derbies.