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With 500 days to go before the start of the 2014 World Cup, "nine of the 10 stadiums that are currently under construction are behind schedule," according to Aiuri Rebello of UOL. All 12 World Cup stadiums "will end up costing more than originally predicted." According to Brazil's Sports Minister, the total costs for construction and remodeling of stadiums went from a predicted R$5B ($2.5B) in '10 to R$7 ($3.5B) in December. The Arena Castelão in Fortaleza and Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte "are the only two stadiums that have been finished." The arena furthest behind is the Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá, which was originally scheduled to be finished by December but is now scheduled to be finished by October (UOL, 1/28). In São Paulo, Sergio Rangel reported the Arena Castelão was the first World Cup stadium to host a match over the weekend. Close to 40,000 watched the match between Fortaleza and Ceará, including FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke. Valcke said that "he was happy with what he saw" (FOLHA DE S. PAULO, 1/27).
Japan's Pacific League’s Fukuoka Softbank Hawks said that Friday the ballpark formerly known as Yahoo Dome will have a new name starting Feb. 1. The name in roman characters will be "Fukuoka Yafuoku Dome" (KYODO, 1/25). ... Organisers of the Australian Ladies Masters golf tournament "were calling for all hands on deck" to get the Royal Pines Resort course back in shape, as sports events battled to deal with the aftermath of the deluge at the Gold Coast Monday. Tournament Dir Bob Tuohy said that the golf course would be closed Tuesday as an army of greenkeepers and volunteers "worked to revive the water-filled bunkers and sodden fairways." However, he expected that "the course would reopen" Wednesday (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/29).