Are you looking for a special place to watch the World Cup games in Rio de Janeiro? A place that breathes football and is not as jam-packed as Copacabana?? Welcome to Parque da Bola! Situated inside of the Jockey Club, this event space combines it all: football tradition, food, music, big screens and, of course, a great view on Christ the Redeemer (green and yellow these days) and the Lagoa.
|Where: Jockey Club, Praça Santos Dumont, 31 – Gávea
Ticket: 30 BRL per person for the park
When: 12:30pm – 9:30pm from June 12th – July 13th
More info: http://www.parquedabolario.com.br
Parque da Bola
To enter the Parque da Bola, you enter the normal entrance of the hippodrome. Follow the signs to the ticket counter, once you have your ticket you’ll be led towards the inside of the hippodrome. The event park is in the center of the horse racetrack, so you have to cross a tunnel which passes under the tracks and leads you to the park. The tunnel is decorated with all kinds of football images and typical landmarks of Rio de Janeiro. When coming out of the tunnel, you feel like you’re entering a real football field – especially as the ground is laid out with artificial grass.
To your right, there are two big screens to watch the matches, but do allow yourself some time to check out the grounds. To the left of the entrance, there are a few showrooms, for example the official FIFA store with all kinds of goodies related to the World Cup.
A real gem is the Globo pavilion. Better check it out yourself, you’ll be surprised how much football history is packed into this blue cube. Just a small hint: You’ll be taken on a journey through ten different environments, most of which are interactive. The whole exposition is very well designed and conceptualised.
For the children and romantics, there’s also a big wheel at the end of the park which is lit in green and yellow colours during the night. A ride on the wheel is not included in the entrance, but it’s only 10 BRL. There are also plenty of snack bars around with food and drinks from all over the world. Stock up on food and drinks and go to the area with the big screens. At the opening game Brazil – Croatia there was a good crowd but still plenty of space to sit down on the ground, lay back and enjoy the match. A perfect mix of relaxation, fun and vibrant World Cup fever.
When the game is over, the Parque da Bola still has a lot to offer. This is when the after party starts. So shake your body to the grooves of the DJ and below the sheltering embrace of the Christ Statue. Everybody can stick around until 9:30pm more or less. However, there’s also the “Village area” which has its own bar and hosts the real after party from 22-04h.
At the opening game, Parque da Bola was still an insider tip. There were plenty of people and a great atmosphere but it wasn’t overcrowded. Better check it out sooner than later! All the matches can be seen here.