When they were chosing the cities which would host games of the World Cup 2014, FIFA and CBF wanted to have a wide spectrum of cities, representing as much as possible the big variety of regions, biomas and cultures in Brazil.
So, Cuiabá was chosen because the city is located right in the middle of Pantanal. Pantanal, the wetlands of Brazil, occupies much of the central part of the country, near the border with Bolívia. Pantanal is as rich a bioma as the Amazon (FIFA chose Manaus as the Amazon city in the World Cup).
Cuiabá is, among the host cities, the one with less tradition in Brazilian football: none of the teams of the city ever managed to reach the Top Division of Brazilian League; the current stadium of the city is not capable of staging a World Cup match.
To stage the matches, a new stadium will be built from scratch. The stadium will be called Verdão (The Big Green), will seat 42,500 people, and is planned to be the most environment friendly stadium in Brazil.
Cuiabá is the capital city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. It is located in the exact centre of South America and is in conurbation with the neighbouring town of Várzea Grande.
The exact meaning of the name is uncertain, but it is known to be of Indian origin. A theory says that Cuiaba means “arrow-fishing” and alludes to the Bororo custom of using arrows to fish. Another version says that there was an Indian group called Ykuiapá. Others say that a Portuguese man was taking a bath in the river using a kind of plate made with half coconut (named cuia), and the stream took it, and the man said: Cuia ba (something like “the cuia is gone”).
Cuiabá is the largest pole of tourism, economy, agro industry, trade and culture of the State. The North of the State (which borders the Amazon) was widely occupied by cattle raisers and soybeans farms, which caused serious environmental damages. The Pantanal area, however, gets flooded every year, and so is unproper for plantations or intensive cattle raising; the main activity remains extensive cattle raising.