Brazil World Cup stadiums 50 percent over budget: report

Thu Dec 4, 2014 12:56pm EST
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By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The 12 stadiums used in this year's soccer World Cup cost 50 percent more than planned and only six of the 35 promised public transportation projects were finished on time, according to an as yet unpublished report from Brazil's Federal Accounts Court.

Twelve arenas were remodeled or built from scratch at a cost of 8.44 billion reais ($3.26 billion), the court said in its most thorough report on World Cup spending since the tournament ended in July. The original estimate in 2010 was 5.6 billion.

The most expensive was the redevelopment of the National Stadium in Brasilia, which cost 1.44 billion reais, nearly twice its original estimate and three times the cost of some of the arenas that were completely rebuilt.

"The venues cost much more than they should have," said Amir Somoggi, a finance and marketing consultant who works with some of Brazil's biggest soccer clubs.

"They went for Pharaonic projects and we got left with white elephants."

With many stadiums delivered at the last minute and transportation projects incomplete or abandoned, there were fears the 2014 World Cup would be chaotic.

However, the tournament was widely considered to be a success, featuring some of the best soccer for years and causing no serious off-field problems. Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in the final in Rio de Janeiro.

The 130-page report, however, made it clear there was still plenty of work to be done.   Continued...

Fireworks explode over the stadium after the German team won their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014.  REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch