World Cup, Olympic Preparations Highlight Top Stories In South America
The SBD Global staff compiled the top sports business stories globally of '12, in no particular order. Here are the top stories from South America.
GETTING READY FOR 2016 RIO GAMES: Rio de Janeiro took many strides this year to prepare to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Here are three storylines that dominated the headlines.
- INVESTMENTS: The Brazilian federal government invested between R$250M ($123.4M) and R$300M ($148.1M) in ‘12 for sporting projects in preparation for the 2016 Rio Games. It also launched a program to guarantee more medals for the country. The program will see an estimated investment of R$1B ($495M) until '16.
- OOPS: The Rio LOC revealed that the Joao Havelange stadium will host the Rugby Sevens competition after the São Januário stadium missed its deadline to send the necessary documents to the LOC.
- RESTRUCTURING: Rio 2016 LOC revealed an internal restructuring process with the goal of increasing the committee's capacities in different areas of the project, as well as improving internal procedures and coordination between all areas. Sidney Levy was appointed the organization’s CEO and Leonardo Gryner became the COO.
- CONSTRUCTION FEARS: Throughout the year, a number of important names took shots at Brazil’s progress in stadium construction. Pelé said that he was "preoccupied by the delay in 2014 World Cup stadium constructions." FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke said Brazil “needs a kick up the backside.” But things have improved and as of December things appear to be on track with Brazil Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes saying "There is no threat whatsoever to any of the 12 host cities not being ready in time. We are confident that all the host cities are confirmed, and there are no threats to any of them."
- INVESTMENTS: The Brazilian government revealed it is spending $903M to upgrade the security structure for the World Cup. Brazil's Audit Court revealed the cost of construction for the event increased by 14.7% in relation to the original estimates. A total of $13.3B will now be spent on stadiums and infrastructure for the event.
- TICKET CONCERNS: Following the empty seat dilemma of the London Olympics, FIFA revealed fans will have the opportunity to sell unwanted tickets online during the World Cup in Brazil to ensure that as many seats as possible are filled in stadiums.
- MEET FULECO: Brazil selected an endangered armadillo named “Fuleco” as the mascot for the 2014 World Cup. More than 1.7 million people in Brazil voted on the name, which beat out Zuzeco and Amijubi.