BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazilian organizers have delivered the last stadium for next month's Confederations Cup.
The Estadio Nacional in Brasilia was inaugurated on Saturday, just a few weeks before it will host the opener of the warm-up tournament among continental champions.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff participated in the ceremonial kickoff to officially open the 70,000-capacity venue in the nation's capital. Local clubs Brasiliense and Brasilia later played the first match at the stadium.
"These six stadiums show the capacity and determination that we will have while building the other six (needed for the World Cup)," Rousseff said.
There was still work being done outside the venue in Brasilia, and less than a third of the stadium was open to the public for the match that served as the first test event at the arena. The second will be on May 26, when traditional clubs Flamengo and Santos meet in the inaugural match of the Brazilian league.
FIFA originally wanted three test events in each of the six Confederations Cup venues, but that was not possible because of a series of delays in stadium construction. Only the stadiums in Fortaleza and Belo Horizonte were ready by the December deadline initially set by football's governing body.
The Brasilia venue was delayed because of a problem with the pitch installation. Local authorities said there could be irreversible damage to the playing field if the stadium's opening wasn't moved forward. They blamed excessive rain in the region for the disruption of the installation schedule.
The stadium is one of the most expensive venues built in Brazil, costing about $500 million. It is also one of the most criticized, with many saying that it will become a "white elephant" after the World Cup because the city has no teams in top leagues.
It will host just the opener in the Confederations Cup, but will be the venue for seven matches in the World Cup next year. The stadium is being called locally as the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, in honor of the Brazilian forward who thrived alongside Pele in the 1958 and 1962 World Cups that Brazil won.
The Recife stadium will be inaugurated on Monday, but it was officially delivered in April. The first full test event there is set for next Wednesday, a day after FIFA officially takes over the six venues for the Confederations Cup.
Brazil will play Japan in the opener in Brasilia on June 15. The final is at the Maracana on June 30.