The 2014 World Cup in Brazil was a great footballing event, but what happens afterwards? Turns out, just like the warnings suggested, that four of the stadiums have no sport use these days, less than a year after the games. From being a place for social events to a spot for the homeless to invade, these stadiums stands as a demonstration for public money being spent in all the wrong ways.
The Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasilia, built at the cost of $550 million, is used as a parking lot for buses. The Arena das Dunas in Natal can be rented out for weddings and kid’s birthdays. A stadium that has a capacity of 39,971, but the club using it, America FC, are in the third division, and don’t attract anything remotely close to these kinds of numbers.
In Manaus the Arena da Amazônia is now being proposed as an open-air prison. The renovated Arena da Baixada in Curitiba became a home for the homeless, who broke into the dressing rooms and stayed there. People in Brazil protested before, a little bit during and after the World Cup about the use of public funds for something that hardly anyone will use once the World Cup is over.
The World Cup ended in depression for the Brazilians. A 7-1 loss in the semifinals to Germany, followed by a 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands in the third-place match. Now the results of everything they warned against and tried to fight against are being revealed. Just like in Athens where the 2004 Olympic games were held or in Beijing, the site of the 2008 Olympics, only these monuments of pretty much forcing the public to spend money it didn’t want to take out are spread over the whole country and not just one city.
It didn’t even help the upcoming Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, coming in 2016. The stadiums mentioned were built without any strong club football to justify their presence. This was going to be a massive waste of money and failure of planning, decision making and public-funds spending right from the start, only the masses protesting against it were ignored, resulting in what should turn out to be another huge sports complex decaying as if it never existed.