Recife announced that the Brasilian construction giant Odebrect has won the licencing contest to build its World Cup stadium at a cost of R$532.6 million. This is 77.5% over the projected cost in May 2009. Of course, no construction has begun, so we can expect this number to increase by at least a third before this suburban stadium turns into a white elephant.
Last week, Lula announced a financing package of R$12.8 billion for the World Cup, but included an "anti-Pan" clause, requiring that cities and states somehow gaurantee that budgets be kept in check. R$ 8 billion of this money is intended for infrastructure improvements (this in addition to the R$5 billion in freemoney given out by the national development bank to subsidize stadium construction). The anti-Pan clause should have required that anyone involved in the bungled mess of the Pan American games be prevented from participating in the World Cup or Olympics. Sadly, all of the same people are in charge and we can expect the same black box to produce the same red recepits.
The almost total absence of private sector investments in Brazil 4030 is a VERY GOOD INDICATION that mega-events ARE NOT A GOOD INVESTMENT. Does anyone in Greece yearn for the halcion days of freely spending on toursit, transportation, and sporting infrastructure, or would they like their pensions back? Brasil's economy has been doing well of late, but the federal government is spending it like they're Sarah Palin on 5th Avenue.
The absurdities never cease in relation to FIFA and IOC. The news coming out of South Africa is terrible. Residents are claiming that the World Cup Regime is worse than Apartheid. The same thing will happen here, despite the government's attempts to green and white wash the real issues driving urban and social divides.
The 13 airport projects for the 2014 World Cup are already delayed. Everyone has fortunately forgotten about the bullet train idea. And only seven stadium projects have been approved by FIFA (which is a good thing - something I'll be writing about soon).
After attending the 1st Symposium on Football Studies at the Football Museum @ São Paulo's Pacaembu stadium, I'm convinced that the Morumbi in São Paulo should be excluded from the World Cup. The city doesn't need the headache and has no functional tourist infrastructure.
Public spending for public goods that are well and truly public, yes. Public spending for FIFA and the IOC to party for 7 weeks, transforming cities for the next generations and leaving us with insurmountable debt and elaborate infrastructure that doesn't pay for itself, not so much.
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