Sunday, May 22, 2011

The World Cup and a Lack of Sense of Urgency

Yes, pretty it is, but will it be ready by 2014?

The never-ending story: The World Cup. There is a current blog entry on, coinciding with this weeks cover story. Veja did a fairly simple, if simplistic calculation: How much has been spent so far, how much time until the World Cup, so when will the stadiums get done?

The answer: All but one will be finished AFTER the World Cup.

Stadium Budget Spent to date Conclusion Run-Rate
Corinthians (SP) R$ 1bn Zero Never
A. das Dunas (RN) R$ 400mZero Never
A. da Baixada (PR) R$ 220m Zero Never
Maracanã (RJ) R$ 957m R$ 26m 2038
Arena Pernambuco R$ 532m R$ 60m 2025
Arena Amazônia R$ 499,5m R$ 30m 2024
Mineirão (MG) R$ 666m R$ 86,6m 2020
Nacional (DF) R$ 670m R$ 45m 2021
Arena (MT) R$ 355m R$ 48m 2017
Beira Rio (RS) R$ 290m R$ 30m 2017
Fonte Nova (GO) R$ 591m R$ 99,9m 2015
Castelão (CE) R$ 519 milhões R$ 80m 2013 (October)
Source: Veja Magazine

Is this likely? Probably not. Is this possible? At least for a few of the stadiums, it is starting to seem that way. Why so? Well, apart from a Brazilian lack of sense of urgency (which can drive the German author of this blog mad at times), aparently, there have been some problems with planning. The Brasilia stadium, for example, was planned without grass, seats and illumination (so it will cost more). In the Maracana stadium, the construction company found that the concrete structure was rotten only after tearing out the seats (what a surprise, considering the stadium was completed for the 1950 World Cup on the run and probably not much has been invested since - also here, more will be spent... and it will take a wee longer).

The blog is worth a read, and the issue is worth buying, as it also contains a bunch or pretty pictures of what stadiums should not look like three years before the cup... The first part of the solution will probably be to throw so much money at the construction, to get them finished on time. This has worked in the past: The 2007 Pan American Games were suffering from the same problem, until the government decided to "invest" a bit more in the last six months prior to the games. The result: An overspend of R$3.6bn - instead of R$400m, the cost went up to R$4bn. The second part of the solution will be to reduce the amount of venues from twelve to... 8 or less. Bookmark this page. I am betting on the exit of Manaus, Natal and Curitiba - and Sampa will not host the opening game.

Now, the only question (apart from the many above) is: Where will the 2013 Confederations Cup be held? Oh, and let us not talk about airports this time...

P.S. There even is an official (?) site or the Itaquerão (São Paulo Stadium depicted above):  - But the bandwidth has been exceeded... so Error 509 for you...


  1. A true novella!

    Wife just came back from the airport here in Goiania to drop off a friend. She had to drop the friend off as there was no place to park. Used to be a quiet little airport. Now lines to get into the parking lot. Progress without infrastructure is chaos.

  2. I agree with you, and I see your point, and I also believe we need to filter out some of the sensationalism seen in part of the media today.
    Let's keep in mind these guys want to sell magazines and boring news don't sell.
    I am confident Brazil will pull it off regarding the stadiums, now, the Airports are another completely different animal, certainly a discussion for another post.


  3. Ray&Gil: Try this: