Brazil's World Cup Legacy Falls Short of its Billing
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports:
"It has been almost a year since the World Cup in Brazil. The party is long over, but the country is still dealing with the hangover — in the form of 'white elephant' stadiums and unfinished infrastructure projects. They come at a time when the country faces economic woes and the prospect of another expensive mega event: next year's summer Olympics."
Garcia-Navarro cites two prominent examples of new stadiums that failed to find very productive uses in their post-World Cup life:
- "The most expensive World Cup stadium — located in the capital, Brasilia, and with a price tag of $550 million — is being used as a parking lot for buses," according to Garcia-Navarro. For the record, several sources have placed that price tag closer to $900 million.
- "The stadium in Cuiaba — which cost some $215 million to build — has made news repeatedly: first for being closed down because of faulty construction, and then recently for the homeless people squatting in its unused locker rooms."
Then there were the infrastructure investments sold as part of the World Cup package, like the $800 million light rail line connecting the airport to the city center in Cuiaba. That project was scheduled for completion before the World Cup, but instead only a half-mile of the 14-mile route has been completed. In a separate article, Kevin Smith details similar lack of progress on other transit lines promised for the World Cup around the country.
A hat tip to Joseph Stromberg for his coverage of the issue, which led to these sources.