Manaus Stadium, where England play Italy, opens for World Cup in Brazil
The Arena da Amazonia in Manaus hosts first match ahead of World Cup in the summer.
Last Updated: 10/03/14 10:18am
The Arena da Amazonia is the ninth stadium to become available for football's showcase event but three still have to be finished, including the one hosting the opener in Sao Paulo in about three months.
The Arena da Amazonia was not fully completed on Sunday but local authorities inaugurated the venue with a regional championship match with nearly 20,000 people in attendance, including workers who helped to build the venue.
The 44,000-capacity stadium will host four World Cup matches in June, including England vs. Italy and United States vs. Portugal.
The Arena da Amazonia was one of six stadiums not completed by the end of last year as wanted by FIFA. It was expected to be inaugurated last month but the event had to be postponed because there was too much work left at the time.
Sunday's match between Nacional and Remo, which ended in a 2-2 draw, was organised to be a simulation of a World Cup event.
"This shows that the stadium is ready to host matches," Amazonas state Gov. Omar Aziz said. "There are still details to be finalised, but that's why we are doing these test events."
Aziz said that at least two other test matches are expected before the World Cup begins.
Only fans with tickets were allowed inside a 1-kilometre (0.6-mile) perimeter near the stadium. In addition to the 13,000 tickets sold to the general public, 7,000 were given to stadium workers and their relatives.
More than 2,500 policemen were on duty during the match, including 200 in charge of monitoring ticket scalpers outside the stadium and some 70 officers inside the venue working on the pitch and the stands.
The Arena da Amazonia cost nearly $290million (£174m), about $70million (£42m) more than originally expected. The construction was marked by three workers' deaths, including a 55-year-old Portuguese man killed in an accident last month while disassembling a crane that was used to install the roof.
The World Cup stadiums still under construction are the Itaquerao in Sao Paulo, the Arena Pantanal in the wetlands city of Cuiaba and the Arena da Baixada in the southern city of Curitiba, which last month was nearly dropped as a host because of delays.
Brazil is also struggling to finish infrastructure work around the venues in the 12 host cities, and local officials admit that not everything will be ready.