In 1952, São Paulo's chairman Cícero Pompeu de Toledo requested the city's mayor Armando Pereira Arruda a groundplot in the Ibirapuera
neighborhood. However, the mayor refused the request, but donated a groundplot in the Morumbi neighborhood to São Paulo.
On August 15, 1952, the stadium construction started. Only eight years later, in 1960, the construction was partially concluded, and the stadium
was inaugurated with a maximum capacity of 70,000 people.
The inaugural match was played on October 2, 1960, when São Paulo beat Sporting Lisbon of Portugal 1-0. The first goal of the stadium was
scored by São Paulo's Peixinho.
On March 2, 1969, shortly after the end of the São Paulo-Corinthians 2-4 match, a thunderbolt discharged close to the stadium, starting a tumult
in the stadium exit doors. Because of the tumult, one of the walls collapsed, and a 40-year old Corinthians supporter named João Benedetti died.
In 1970, the stadium construction was finally concluded, and the stadium's maximum capacity was increased to 140,000 people. The re-inaugural
match between São Paulo and FC Porto drew 1-1.
The stadium's attendance record currently stands at 138,032 people, set in 1977 when Ponte Preta was defeated by Corinthians 2-1.
In 1994, a major overhaul of the stadium started, which was concluded only in 2000. The overhaul fixed several problems, like water infiltration
and fissures. A new illumination system was installed, and the safety conditions were improved. The stadium's maximum capacity was reduced to