The Sambadrome

The Samba Parade Stage, Sambadrome, Is Where The Carnival Show Take Place.

The pulsating rhythms, nonstop revelry, and sensuous samba dancers begin and end at the Sambadrome, the epicenter of celebrations during the Rio Carnival. The magnificent stadium designed by world renowned architect Oscar Neimeyer was specially built to accommodate spectators who jostled for a place to watch the spectacular event that grew into a global event. Until 1984, President Vargas Avenue served as the samba parade strip for the Rio Carnival. The new stadium was constructed on both sides of Marquês de Sapucaí Street, with a seating capacity of over 80,000. The 700 meter samba runway is what comes to life on all five nights of the carnival where samba schools have not more than 85 minutes to prove that they are the champions of the samba. At the end of the parade route where revelers gather at the end of their parade is Praça da Apoteose (Apotheosis Square).

The Sambadrome of Rio de Janeiro.

Arriving at the Sambadrome

With over 80,000 spectators heading for the Sambadrome on all five nights of the Carnival, it is important to arrive at the stadium as early as possible. The grandstands have free seating so people queue up hours before to get a prime spot even though nobody really sits once the show begins. The doors to the Sambadrome open at 5 pm so you might want to get to the stadium early if you have grandstand seats. However, if you have reserved seats then you can choose to come in later. If you don't mind missing the opening session, arriving at the stadium around 10 pm is advisable. You will still be in time to catch the samba schools in action. Those game enough for the 12-hour marathon can reach the stadium by 8 pm to catch the entire show.

Dress code / What to carry

There are no ground rules for dressing so you can dress just like the cariocas if you wish. Rio gets hot during this time of the year so light clothing is advisable if you have grandstand tickets. Carry a raincoat if you desire since summer showers do occur at times. For security reasons no bottles, glasses, or fireworks are allowed inside the Sambadrome. Besides, there will be plenty of fireworks during the show for you to enjoy. Your carry bag is restricted to two plastic containers of 500 ml and two food items. Every sector has fast food counters to cater to the large volume of spectators. Nevertheless, it is prudent to come prepared with a couple of snacks.

You may want to dress more appropriately if you have reserved seats at the camarotes or air-conditioned boxes, where all the celebrities gather. However, there are no dress codes for the camarotes too. With grandstand tickets, you may want to carry a pillow or a small mattress to stretch out since the show goes on until early the next morning. Digital cameras or any type of still picture cameras is allowed while video cameras are not permitted inside the stadium. For a closer view of the extravaganza, it would be prudent to carry a pair of binoculars. Visitors are not encouraged to carry any valuables other than the essential items into the Sambadrome.

Amenities at the Sambadrome

The Sambadrome is well equipped several amenities to ensure that spectators are comfortable throughout the parade. This includes a number of fast food kiosks selling food and refreshments, restrooms, and an official taxi stand. Spectators can avail of the taxi service at any time during the night. The stadium also features a souvenir shop which is a must visit if you desire to take home a few mementos of this wonderful occasion.

The Camarotes or luxury suites include buffet meals, an open bar, and a waiter in attendance.
A number of high profile visitors and celebrities grace the occasion, which is why there are extensive security measures to ensure the safety of every spectator at the event. A large number of tourists attend the event every year without any major untoward incidents being reported from the Sambadrome.

Other events held at the Sambadrome

During the year, the Sambadrome is used for various purposes including live concerts by international artists. The venue has been chosen to host marathon and archery events at the 2018 Summer Olympics. Several well known artists like Carlos Santana, Bob Dylan, Avril Lavigne, Black Eyed Peas, James Blunt, and Radiohead have been center stage at the Sambadrome over the years.

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