By Rafael Teixeira and Felipe Ernani
The Mineirão, the largest stadium in Minas Gerais and the fifth largest in Brazil, has always been the stage for major concerts, international tours and festivals. After a recent decision by Ronaldo, owner of Cruzeiro, the stadium will be able to keep only these events and without football, which has always been its main brand.
The former player, who today owns the club’s SAF, announced this Tuesday (24) during a live on his channel that he broke off relations with Minas Arena, the company that manages the Mineirão together with the State Government.
Ronaldo said that Cruzeiro will play at Independência until the end of the year, he criticized the current contract and joked that the Mineirão “is going to become a very nice venue”.
Although the former player did not mention it in the broadcast, his club had to reschedule some important matches in 2022 because of events at the stadium. Due to the damage caused by this, the leader seems irreducible in his position:
This year we consider our relationship with Minas Arena to be broken. We will not play any games at the Mineirão this year. I think this is an important problem that the Government of Minas Gerais will need to resolve.
The conditions (at Minas Arena, the concessionaire that manages the stadium) have always been horrible for Cruzeiro. Minas Arena has a very comfortable contract with the Government, in which they have all the weapons in their hands to do good negotiations for them and never good ones for us.
I know that people from Cruzeiro have the Mineirão as their home, but we are in a contract that is very badly done, one of the worst that the Government has. Logically, Minas Arena is very comfortable. The Mineirão is going to become a very cool venue. They prioritized it.
Currently, as the website tells GOALCruzeiro is entitled to 54,000 tickets on the spot, and shares the other 8,000 tickets that can be sold equally with Mineirão.
However, the club is responsible for the costs of the game, including expenses such as security, and does not have access to income from other spaces in the stadium, such as bars and parking.
Mineirão, emblematic concerts and clash with Ronaldo and Cruzeiro
In 2023, Mineirão was the stage for the SummerTimes festival, with Jack Johnson and Racionais MC’s. Last year, there were names like metallica, Armas e Rosas, Demi Lovato and Gal Costain addition to the historic farewell show of Milton Nascimento.
This year, there are still forecasts for holding several musical shows and this also seems to be an impasse in the negotiation. According to GOALRonaldo’s idea would even involve a percentage of revenue from concerts such as Gusttavo Limawhich is presented on the 1st of April.
In the midst of all this, it is worth noting that only 20% of the stadium’s revenue in 2022 came from concerts and events. According to a survey by Minas Arena, 55 soccer games were held last year, earning around R$466 million.
Needing to recover this important portion after being taken by surprise with Ronaldo’s decision, the company announced that it will try to resume dialogue with Cruzeiro, saying that “the Mineirão without football is unthinkable”.
Government of Minas Gerais decided to intervene
The Government of Minas Gerais has offered to help with the impasse, saying it will be able to negotiate directly with the clubs the 66 dates to which football is entitled in 2023. The State also wants to create a committee with representatives from América, Atlético, Cruzeiro, CBF and citizens.
According to the portal super sportsthe Secretary of Infrastructure and Mobility of Minas Gerais, Fernando Marcato, gave a press conference this Tuesday (24th) and suggested that the main function of the stadium be imposed by contract, which would give this priority to the clubs:
Make clear precisely the function of the stadium. Football, is it football? So let’s define this clearly, not let a fluid clause, even a fluid committee. Let’s leave it written with all the letters so we don’t have to have this kind of dispute.
It is worth remembering that Atlético-MG, another big club from Belo Horizonte that plays at Mineirão, will have its own stadium from June, while América-MG owns Independência.