Committed to making the “dream of their own stadium” a reality, Flamengo has the City of Rio de Janeiro as an ally. This is what Mayor Eduardo Paes (PSD-RJ) assured in an interview with LANCE!, in which he explained the role of the municipality if the idea advances. In addition to considerations about the places evaluated by the club, Eduardo Paes evaluated the importance and benefits of the project for the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Today, Flamengo has the Gasómetro as a favorite place, but Deodoro and Parque Olímpico are also evaluated and were on the agenda at the meeting between President Rodolfo Landim and Mayor Eduardo Paes.
The land in Porto Maravilha, the central area of the city, currently belongs to Caixa Econômica Federal, which, internally, is studying the feasibility of the project and the values. President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) also entered the “circuit”.
“It’s obvious that a project of this magnitude needs authorization from the municipality. If the Pope owns a plot of land in Rio de Janeiro and wants to build a church, he needs authorization from the City Hall. But I already make it clear that it would be great to have it there ( no Gasómetro), the Flamengo stadium project”, said the mayor of Rio de Janeiro to L!.
Check out, below, the interview of Eduardo Paes (PSD) in full with L!:
L!: You had a meeting with President Rodolfo Landim to discuss the project for the Flamengo stadium, which today has Gasómetro as the best evaluated location. What will be the role of the City Hall if this project goes ahead?
I can only speculate, but it is obvious that a project of this magnitude needs authorization from the municipality. If the Pope owns a plot of land in Rio de Janeiro and wants to build a church, he must have authorization from the City Hall. But I already make it clear that it would be great to have the Flamengo stadium project there. The entire region, from Gasómetro to Pier Mauá, is part of Porto Maravilha. What allowed all those works, the demolition of the Perimetral, the tunnel, the VLT, everything that is there, was the constructive potential. In other words, the right to build. Where do you have more right to build there? Right in the Gasometer.
So, probably, for the thing to stand, for Caixa, which is a public bank, the president wants to help, but he doesn’t own Caixa. It is a public bank that renders accounts. For the thing to stand, Caixa will ask the City Hall to transfer this constructive potential to another land. And we’re ready to do that. The person speaking here is a Vasco, but here it is the mayor who is here, not Eduardo Vasco.
Whatever it takes to help Flamengo, we’ll do it. It is important for Flamengo to have a stadium. I talked a lot with President Landim. It’s obvious that Maracanã has a public dimension, that’s what I say. He’s more than just a club. It will always be Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo, the Brazilian team. Flamengo having Maracanã will always have this risk of how Vasco and Sport happened. It’s a judge to go there, understand that there is a public dimension and say: “Yes, you will play.”. It is very difficult to organize a season, with the use of a stadium, for a team the size of Flamengo without having its own stadium.
So it’s completely understandable. Flamengo is a heritage of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a team with its importance. I wanted Vasco to have the importance of Flamengo, the number of Flamengo fans. Vasco is also very important for Rio de Janeiro, but Flamengo is a heritage of Rio and we have to help.
L!: Should this constructive potential be transferred to land that already belongs to Caixa?
It doesn’t have to be Caixa land, no. Caixa, in fact, owns this constructive potential, and the City Hall is the one who says where it can be used. Caixa can sell, for example, the construction potential to another private party, on private land, elsewhere.
L!: To move forward, is it necessary that the issue of land, which belongs to Caixa, be defined before the elections?
It’s a bit of a tease from me. I’m not a candidate for anything. So for me it doesn’t make any difference, but it’s good to use the moments. Politicians like votes. So it’s good to use this electoral moment and the president’s commitment to do this soon. It’s a provocation of mine to help Flamengo.
L!: And in relation to Caixa donating the land, and not selling it to Flamengo?
That’s it too. In a well-established operation with Caixa, the City Hall is able to carry out this operation to transfer the constructive potential. If we want Flamengo to be able to build the stadium, in fact, we need to make Flamengo’s life easier. I will not charge anything to transfer this constructive potential. Could be charged.
We just bought a part of the Gasómetro to build the Gentileza Terminal, which we are currently building. For a little piece of Gasometro, I paid R$ 50 million. That land, in fact, was bought by the City Hall. That land is part of a Porto Maravilha Real Estate Fund. It was bought in my other government. Now we had to pay R$ 50 million, but I think that, in order to make the Flamengo stadium viable, we cannot charge Flamengo a fortune.
L!: What benefits would the city have with a stadium in that area?
First: a stadium, simply a stadium, is not a solution either for that area or for Flamengo. Landim and the management of Flamengo have the capacity, from the point of view of sustainability of the stadium, to put a model with a kind of Shopping Center, stores. This helps Flamengo to make the maintenance of the stadium viable. It’s thinking about something modern, which has everything to do with that region. We want the city center to consolidate itself as a great center of entertainment and commerce. There are already many real estate developments popping up on the other side of Francisco Bicalho. We understand that São Cristóvão is an area of the city that needs to develop in this way, with people living there. And São Cristóvão already has the best stadium in Brazil, which is São Januário.
L!: In addition to the Gasómetro, Barra Olympic Park and Deodoro have also been observed by the club. Are they still options? Why do you consider Deodoro to be a simpler solution?
I say that Deodoro is simpler and you’ll see why I won’t have to explain as much as Gasometro, which I talked about constructive potential, transfer, Caixa to there, City Hall to here. It has a complexity. Deodoro is an area of the Army, of the Federal Government, which just needed a presidential decree donating the area. It’s there, on the edge of Avenida Brasil, with the Transolímpica there, with the train arriving, it would serve the flamenguistas of the West Zone. There’s a lot of flamenguist in the West Zone, here is a vascaíno who goes there a lot and is constantly provoked by flamenguistas.
So, I think Deodoro is a simpler solution, but I have to respect the wishes of the club. The Olympic Park, where we held the Olympics, also sells constructive potential. We didn’t spend a penny on those stadiums in the Olympic Park. It’s even good to clarify what happened there. People think we spend public money there. No, it was all private money. That belongs to the private sector, not to Caixa. It would be much more difficult to carry out this operation, which I think is possible in Gasómetro.
L!: In your conversations with President Landim, did you feel that the project to build your own stadium – something very old in Flamengo – is a path of no return?
I think it has to be. That’s why I speak of haste, of urgency. I want to hear a proposal and City Hall is ready to help. I don’t have an area to donate to Flamengo. For the Training Centers, we even did this with Vasco, with Fluminense, we are discussing with Botafogo. And we have to solve the Flamengo stadium. Flamengo is a heritage of Rio de Janeiro. And I repeat, here a Vasco is a carioca heritage, which gives an international dimension to Rio de Janeiro, attracts attention to Rio de Janeiro, has its symbolic value. Carioca clubs are not private companies.