World Cup venue costs rise significantly in Brazil
As the 2014 World Cup gets closer, the stadium costs in Brazil
keep going up.
Indecision on where and how to build venues have reduced the
time left for construction work, significantly increasing the
amount needed to be spent in nearly all of the 12 cities hosting
World Cup matches three years from now.
The Maracana, which will host the tournament’s final, is among
the stadiums that will cost a lot more than originally planned when
the initial projects were presented to FIFA after Brazil was chosen
as World Cup host a few years ago.
Sao Paulo, touted to host the World Cup opener, is also facing
A report by the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, Brazil’s largest,
said Thursday the total outlay required had increased 56 percent so
When the host cities were chosen in May 2009, the stadiums were
projected to cost nearly $2.6 billion (?1.8 billion), but now the
bill is closer to $4 billion ($2.8 billion).
Stadium delays have been one of the main concerns for World Cup
organizers in Brazil, along with improving the nation’s outdated
airport infrastructure, which will be key to accommodating the
hundreds of thousands of visitors during the monthlong
Although officials have guaranteed that all stadiums will be
ready on time, three host cities are yet to start building their
venues – Sao Paulo, Natal and Curitiba.
Sao Paulo initially planned to host matches at the renovated
Morumbi stadium, but that was rejected by FIFA because of a lack of
financial guarantees. The city, South America’s biggest, was
without a stadium project for several months until Corinthians
announced it would build an arena for the tournament.
However, the club initially said the stadium would accommodate
only 48,000 people, not enough for the opener. The city had to
provide tax breaks so could Corinthians could submit a new plan to
expand, thus delaying the project and increasing the cost.
”It’s important for those involved to understand that Sao Paulo
is the key football center in Brazil,” Brazil coach Mano Menezes
said. ”At times, there are difficulties. But I’m optimistic that
in the end everybody will do well, including Sao Paulo.”
Although FIFA has said that no venue has been ruled out for the
2013 Confederations Cup, Sao Paulo officials have said the city is
unlikely to host matches in the World Cup warm-up tournament as the
stadium won’t be ready by then.
”We are not very optimistic regarding the readiness of Sao
Paulo for the FIFA Confederations Cup,” FIFA secretary general
Jerome Valcke said. ”Morumbi is definitely no option. However, the
decision of the venues selected will be taken at the first meeting
of the organizing committee on July 29 in Rio de Janeiro.”
Rio city officials announced Wednesday that Maracana’s
renovations will be completed in time for the Confederations Cup,
but the famed stadium also cost more than originally planned
because a new roof has to be built. The original project was
estimated at about $430 million, but the final cost will near $590
Missed deadlines and problems in bidding processes have also
marred other venues, and Folha said the costs of eight other
stadiums have risen.
Only the jungle city of Manaus hasn’t increased its venue cost
so far, while Cuiaba says it will actually spend 12 percent less
than planned, according to Folha
Tales Azzoni can be reached at http://twitter.com/tazzoni