Stadiums and tourism, new frontiers in sports – Jornal da USP

Stadiums and tourism, new frontiers in sports – Jornal da USP

Stadium tourism, an expanding field, generates income and entertainment, as well as enhancing residents’ sense of belonging and pride

Written by Guilherme Castro Souza*

Statue of Eusebiusoutside Estádio da Luz – Image: P. Fernandes (Trebaruna) via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Sports have no limits. Whether it’s the Olympics or a neighborhood soccer match, it has the ability to unite the most diverse people to achieve the same goal. No wonder it drives millions of people every year to visit new places. For example, in 2014, the year Brazil hosted the World Cup, the country recorded 6,429,852 international tourist arrivals, according to statistics Tourism Statistical Book 2015 Affiliated to the Ministry of Tourism. In this scenario, stadiums have been and continue to play a major role in national and international tourism.

According to Melina Manhaes Rodriguez, a doctoral student in tourism at the College of Arts, Sciences and Humanities at the University of the South Pacific, the challenge that must be faced when talking about stadium tourism is “generating sufficient revenues to cover the costs of building and maintaining the stadiums. Stadiums, they are looking for alternatives to income in these stadiums.” Places, not only through selling tickets, advertising or renting shows and conferences, but through other entertainment and tourism practices.There is therefore an incentive for these spaces to be profitable and tourism is a promising option.

Types of tourism

The doctoral student explains that the relationship between tourism and sports occurs in three different ways. There is sports tourism, in which tourists travel to practice their sport. Another form is sports event tourism, where an individual travels to watch World Cup matches or the Olympic Games, for example. The final form is nostalgia tourism, which involves visiting sports stadiums, arenas or museums out of a search for knowledge, culture or meaning.

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In Europe, many popular playgrounds already offer well-designed tourist experiences. As a strategy to preserve and highlight these spaces, historical and cultural activities and permanent exhibitions are encouraged to promote their collections. It complements the use of stadiums outside the sporting competition season, and encourages local, national and international tourism. Melina Rodriguez highlights Barcelona’s Camp Nou, which was the first stadium to be given a stadium-themed tour in 1984.

In addition to guided tours of the stadium and the different sectors that make up the stadium, visitors can also find museums in some places. This is the case of the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, which offers entry to the Cosme Damião Museum. Melina also pointed out other activities that could make up this experience: “multilingual artists, an exhibition of paintings, texts and other artistic expressions and symbols of important moments in the club’s history, among other possibilities.”

Brazil and neighbors

Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, known as Maracanä, in February 2014 – Image: Daniel Basil / Portal da Copa via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0 br

In Latin America, we found some similar experiences. The museum at the Monumental de Nuñez Stadium, in Buenos Aires (Argentina), or even the Centenário Stadium in Montevideo (Uruguay), or the Jornalista Mário Filho Stadium (Maracanán), in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), are successful examples of the integration of these places with tourism. .

In Brazil, many stadiums have had to adapt to hosting major sporting events such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. This means that they have begun to allow visits to places such as the Trophy Room, and to create indoor tours, for example, in the stadiums of the top four clubs in Sao Paulo. The capital, São Paulo, also has one of the country’s premier sporting cultural heritage initiatives: the Football Museum – which also houses the Reference Center for Brazilian Football, an area dedicated to the research, promotion and management of football-related collections, memories and archives.

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Sports and nostalgia

An expanding field in the Brazilian context is nostalgia tourism. Milena comments on the thesis gravity Tourism in football stadiums: visiting Arena Corinthians Stadium, Written by Doctor of Tourism Felipe Romano, who discusses visiting the football stadium and its uses, as well as the sport and the relationship with the club. “Through nostalgia tourism, teams present the historical achievements of their own football, region and country and various aspects of local culture related to the sport, which can reflect the identity of the nation, for example, by reproducing the colors of the flag on the uniform. In this way, it enables income generation.” creative entertainment and the tourist’s experience of local culture, while enhancing residents’ sense of belonging and pride,” comments the doctoral student.

*Under the supervision of Paolo Capuzzo

Tourism Sciences Bulletin

Graduate Program in Tourism in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities-USP, USP Radio, and USP Magazine
production – Alexandre Panoso Neto, Lucía Silveira Santos, Vitor Silva Freire, and Melina Manhas Rodriguez
Co-production – Cinderella Caldera, Tulio Gonzaga, Julia Estanislao, Guilherme Castro Souza
The Tourism Science Bulletin is broadcast on Rádio USP, every two weeks, every Friday, on Jornal da USP live
Release: USB radio
You can listen to Rádio USP SP 93.7 MHz and Ribeirão Preto 107.9 MHz, online at or on the main podcast aggregators
Such as Spotify, iTunes, and Deezer.


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