Brazil minister: Stadiums will be used after WCup
Brazil's sports minister said Tuesday that stadiums being built for the 2014 World Cup will not become white elephants because of a lack of use after the tournament.
Aldo Rebelo said the new stadiums are being built to become ''multiuse'' arenas, and some of the top international groups specialized in venue management are interested in overseeing them. He said they will also be used for entertainment and commercial purposes.
Of the 12 World Cup stadiums, four are located in areas without traditional football clubs and likely won't be able to attract large football crowds regularly.
There has been heavy criticism about the World Cup venues because many are being funded by public loans even though the government had said that all the investment would be private.
Rebelo told international correspondents that the idea is to use the stadiums for concerts or as convention centers and commercial areas.
''In Brazil there are many alternatives for these stadiums,'' he said. ''You have museums, restaurants, cultural activities... People will go to these venues even if there are no football matches being played.''
He used as example the stadium outside the northeastern city of Recife, which will have an entirely new housing complex built around it.
Rebelo said some international companies have made contact with local organizers to discuss the possibility of getting involved with the new stadiums, including representatives of the Amsterdam Arena.
''The great sports arena administrators are all interested in these stadiums,'' he said.
Only three World Cup stadiums belong to football clubs - Internacional's Beira-Rio, Corinthians' Itaquera Arena and Atletico Paranaense's Arena da Baixada. The other venues belong to local governments.
The host cities which will have the most difficulties attracting football fans include Cuiaba, the capital of Brasilia and Manaus, in the Amazon jungle. Fortaleza, in northeastern Brazil, is the other city currently without a first-division club.
Rebelo said that the training centers being built for the 2016 Olympics in Rio will also be used after the event ends, both for the training of athletes and for recreational purposes.