04 May 2010

Only 3 of 12 Brazilian World Cup Stadium Projects underway, already 40% over budget

While the rest of the world is counting down to the start of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, in Brazil we have begun the process of blowing as much public money as possible while leaving the stadium projects to take care of themselves at the last minute.

May 3 marked the final day (according to FIFA, which gave a two month grace period) that the host cities had to begin the 2014 stadium construction projects. Only 3 of the 12 projects have begun (Manaus, Belo Horizonte, Cuiabà)  - and those are demolitions of existing stadia that will be replaced by new, shiny FIFA toys. For the remaining 9 stadiums, not much happened in those two months, except for a reevaluation of the costs: According to one report, since the 12 World Cup cities were announced in May of 2009 the average cost of the stadiums has increased 20%. My own research indicates that the situation is much, much worse:

2014 World Cup Stadium Projects
City
Stadium
Situation
Construction?
cost 5/2009
cost 5/2010
% increase
Public Stadiums
xR$100000
xR$100000

Belo Horizonte
Mineirão
Work Begun (demolition)
January 2010
427
609
42
Brasília
Estádio Nacional
Waiting for contract decision
June 2010
520
740
42
Cuiabá
Verdão
Work Begun (demolition)
26 April 2010
400
342
-15
Fortaleza
Castelão
Waiting for contract decision
June 2010
300
452
51
Manaus
Arena Amazônia
Work Begun (demolition)
15 April 2010
300
500
40
Natal
Arena das Dunas
Waiting for publication of call for contracts
June 2010
309
400
30
Recife
Arena Capibaribe
Legally contested contract decision
June 2010
300
452
51
Rio de Janeiro
Maracanã
Awaiting FIFA approval of architecture
uncertain
500
800
60
Salvador
Fonte Nova
Secondary projects underway (tree planting)
3 May 2010
400
605
51
Private Stadiums

Curitiba
Arena da Baixada
In search of funding
Claim that work has begun
138
138

Porto Alegre
Beira-Rio
In search of funding
Claim that work has begun
378
378

São Paulo
Morumbi
Awaiting FIFA approval
Claim that work has begun
136
240
76,5
4108
5656
43,6 / 37,6
                                                                                                                                            
The story is clear. Of the projects for which I have information, the average increase in price during a year when almost no construction happenend was 43.6%. If we optomistically assume that the budgets for the stadiums in Curitiba and Porto Alegre will remain the same, the average increase IN ONE YEAR is 37.6%, jumping from R$ 4,108,000,000 to R$ 5,656,000,000 (US$3.26 billion). If this continues until 2014, the total cost will be R$ 14,543,000,000 – more than a billion R$ per stadium! This is all public money for stadiums. The city of Manaus, for example, is planing on spending more than R$ 6 billion on the World Cup.

FIFA is not happy with the delays in building their toys. They are not ignorant of the situation on the ground either, noting that in an election year, it is impossible to get anything done (because if you lose the election the benefits of your work accrue to your successor) and following the November elections we’re into summer, the December holidays, New Year, and Carnaval – all of which will push construction projects back until March 2011.The CBF (which cannot be distinguished from the Organizing Committee of the World Cup) has announced that they will begin a round of visits to the stadia to see what, if anything, is actually happening.  

FIFA is a corrupt and increasingly brutal institution that uses the World Cup as both a carrot and a stick to suck the marrow out of local, national, and global economies in order to enrich itself. The fatuous, obsequious complicity of national football federations mixes with the spinelessness and greed of local, state and national politicians to ruin what could otherwise be a tremendous opportunity for cities to upgrade infrastructure and provide lasting social and economic benefits for the population at large.

What we are seeing in Brazil and South Africa is a smash and grab campaign (akin to Shock and Awe) that will leave cities with a new breed of White Elephant  (with transportation tethers that lash them  to luxury hotels, providing nothing in functional transport for locals) that eats public money until communities can no longer abide by their presence and decide to put them down.

Gente, os atrazos abrem espaço e tempo para a gente resistir. Fazemos bandeiras, faixas, cartões vermelhos, se lá, e protestamos nos estádios do Brasil dizendo que queremos algo diferente e que FIFA pode ter uma  Copa aqui sem nós dizer como, quando, e porque.  

2 comments:

David said...

How could a victorious Brazil in South Africa impact the current economic and political processes you document in Rio here?

Dr. Christopher Gaffney said...

A Brazilian victory would probably not have any effect on this at all. If anything, it would strengthen the position of the CBF and the 2014 Organizing Committee in relation to complying with FIFAs absurd exigencies.

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