Billions of dollars were spent on renovations and building stadiums in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. The 12 FIFA host stadiums now stand as “white elephants” amid economic despair, hints of Brazilian officials caught up in funds scandals and the 250,000 homeless struggling to survive in the country.
One of the four publicly funded stadiums, the Arena Pantanal, came at a cost of $215 million to build, and a year later is home to many of the countries homeless. City managers of Cuiabá, where the unused stadium sits, are searching for private investors to come in and take over the task of rebuilding the structure that has been closed down due to problems with faulty construction. And, that isn’t even the highest price tag for one of the publicly funded stadiums. While Brasilia’s schools fall short on funding as well as other public services are, the $550 million stadium in the capital city of Brasilia, the Estadio Nacional, now serves as a bus parking lot.
Along with the high cost of maintaining these idle structures which is taking away public resources clearly needed in other areas, infrastructure projects are also left unfinished. Of the proposed 14-mile light railway track at a cost of $800 million that was to link the capital city of Cuiabá to the airport, only a half mile has been laid. Scandal surrounds the unfinished project as the former governor of the state, the former local assembly president and the former local head of the World Cup are under investigation. With the 2015 summer Olympics on the horizon, the country is faced with ever greater expenses yet to come comments city planner Brian Torchin.