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SBD Global/June 5, 2014/Facilities

Brazil Finalizing Prep For Stadiums, Airports, Roads Ahead Of June 12 World Cup Kickoff

With "just over a week to go before the World Cup kicks off, Brazil is racing to get its stadiums, airports, roads and phone networks ready" before hundreds of thousands of football fans "descend on the country," according to Brad Haynes of REUTERS. Airports in "nearly all 12 host cities are swarmed with construction workers laying parking lots, installing check-in counters and kicking up clouds of dust with long-delayed expansions." Workers at several stadiums are "still struggling to set up cell phone networks that can withstand tens of thousands of smartphones." Temporary bleachers in Sao Paulo's stadium, which will host the opening game on June 12, have "still not been tested under the full weight of fans." Only about "half the projects promised for the World Cup have been delivered and many of those are only partly done, souring the mood" in a country obsessed with football but "increasingly skeptical about the benefits of hosting the show." The "late rush means most of the critical infrastructure will be in place and few doubt" that the first World Cup in Brazil since 1950 will be "one to remember" (REUTERS, 6/4).
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