Rio de Janeiro Carnival Stage Has a New Look for 2018. Understand the New Rio Sambadrome.

Spectacular events do not get any bigger and hotter than the Rio Carnival. Over 700,000 tourists flock to Rio for 5 nights of revelry that reaches its climax on the day before Ash Wednesday in the Christian calendar of Lent. While Rio’s character is intricately linked to the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, the heart of the celebrations is at the Sambadrome where the atmosphere is more than electrifying, a place where singing, chanting, and dancing is contagious.

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The Sambadrome gets a new look

With the crowds getting bigger every year, the Rio Sambadrome will have a new look in time for the 2018 Carnival. Four new structures were built to handle more than the 80,000 spectators that the stadium has played host to over the years.

The modern structures with new seating arrangements were designated as Sectors 2, 4, 6, and 8 with grandstand seating, frisas or open boxes, and camarotes or luxury suites that offer the best view of the samba parade. In addition, five luxury suites are being built between the existing grandstand sectors with a seating capacity of 60 in each.

The objective behind the new stadium

With Brazil playing host to the 2016 Olympics, the new Rio Sambadrome is part of the city’s redevelopment program to welcome people from all over the world. The stadium is scheduled as the venue for the archery and the finishing area for the marathon during the Olympics. The $19 million reconstruction project of the stadium has been funded by Brahma Beer Company.

The buildings are being constructed on the same lines as the original design by renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer. The luxury suites located on the northern side of the Sambadrome will lend a more contemporary look to building with luxury suites equipped with all the modern facilities for the comfort of spectators.

Comfortable Seating

The Sambadrome consists of independent concrete structures known as sectors. Odd numbered sectors are on one side while even numbers are on the opposite side Odd sector numbers are 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 while even sector numbers are 2, 4, 6,8,10 and 12. Each sector has different kinds of seats including ‘Camarotes’ mezzanine boxes or luxury boxes, ‘Frisas’ or open boxes, and ‘Arquibancadas’ also known as bleachers or grandstands.

Sector 1 is the only one that has solely a grandstand seating and is located right where the samba schools get themselves organized for the parade.

Brand new luxury suites and runway to enjoy the carnival

The luxury suites in Sector 2 were demolished to make space for four new blocks to be designated as Sectors 2, 4, 6, and 8 with grandstand seating, open boxes, and luxury suites, creating about 18,000 extra seats. Including additional food courts, medical centers, washroom, and bathrooms to cater to the additional number of spectators. The samba dancers are the very heart of the samba parade. The new Sambadrome runway is much wider with more room for the floats and parading samba schools to strut their stuff, which is bound to make the Carnival an even more colorful and glamorous event for the spectators. A new walkway is also being constructed for the physically disabled, providing them with easy access to many sectors.

Although millions of people desire to watch the biggest party on the planet, the organizers have done their best to increase the Sambarome’s capacity to 80,000 for the 2018 Rio Carnival. The new buildings are designed to house 2,880 additional spectators in the grandstand, 1194 in the open boxes or frisas, and 576 seats in the luxury suites. In addition, the new luxury suites constructed between the grandstands will accommodate an additional 300.

Frisas, runway boxes, open boxes or front boxes offer a close view of the samba runway since they are at street level. The boxes are cozy little places with six seats and a small coffee table. All sectors except for Sector 1 have frisas in front of them. Frisas are the best value for your money. They are so close to the action you can almost reach out and touch the dancers. The beat of the drum throbs throughout your whole body and it is easy to see the glorious detail of all the costumes as well as the beauty of the dancers.

Arquibancadas – Grandstand viewing

These are the grandstands with non numbered bleachers, made of big concrete steps, in all sectors. The standard sectors are priced lower with open seating arrangements. Sector 9 is the only sector that  features numbered seats (but remember no chairs, the number are assigned on the concrete) and are available at a higher price. Most of the tickets in this sector are sold abroad. For those looking to spend less money, consider purchasing tickets for the grandstand. The views are quite spectacular and it is very easy to see a large part of the parade all at once. Most of the locals purchase their tickets in this area so it is a great way to rub elbows with the Cariocas and absorb their energy and excitement. As the audience spends the majority of the night on their feet dancing and singing the hard concrete does not really matter. There are no assigned seats in the grandstand (but sector 9) so come early to get seats closer to the boulevard for a better view.

The drummers provide the energy for the participants and stop between Sectors 9 and 11. To experience the most heated and intense moments at the stadium the boxes in front of Sector 10 and Sector 11 offer the best acoustics. That does not mean you will not hear the drums in other sectors of the Sambadrome. The force of the drums is so strong and tantalizing it can even be felt outside of these sectors.

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