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Volume 6 No. 215


The renovation costs of Rio de Janeiro's Maracanã stadium "have almost doubled in comparison to the orginally estimated costs," according to the SID. The Rio de Janeiro Government on Monday announced an additional grant of $99.4M for the Maracanã. Including this new grant, the costs for the stadium, which was already renovated in '07, have now increased to around $557.4M. When construction started in '10, the original estimation was $299M. The main reason for the exploding costs "has been the stadium's roof, which was not included in the original renovation blueprints." In addition to increased costs, the unexpected construction "also delayed the Maracanã's completion date." The stadium was officially opened on April 27 with a charity game between "Friends of Ronaldo" and "Friends of Bebeto." However, a second test game, scheduled for May 15, "was canceled on Monday" (SID, 5/7).

Serie A Lazio President Claudio Lotito "has hit out at current legislation, claiming that Italian clubs need to start owning their own stadiums," according to FOOTBALL ITALIA. Lazio shares its current home ground with rivals Roma, and of the top clubs in Serie A, "only Juventus own, and reap the rewards," of its home ground. The capital club's president has insisted that "if teams on the peninsula are to challenge in Europe, that needs to change." Lotito said, "There are too many constraints, and I cannot see a way out. We are not talking about shortening the rules, but to put Italian teams in a position where they can challenge in Europe. We need to eliminate this shameful bureaucracy" (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 5/7).

The building firm responsible for São Paulo's new World Cup stadium admitted Monday that "the venue would not be ready until March next year, more than two months after the deadline" set by FIFA, according to XINHUA. Construction company Odebrecht Chief Engineer Frederico Barbosa said that "a contractual obligation to fit the stadium with 48,000 permanent seats would be met by Dec. 31." But the installation of temporary stands that increase the venue's capacity to 68,000 "is expected to take at least another two months." Barbosa said, "We have to finish construction of the roof and this prevents us from starting work on the temporary stands." Known in Brazil as the "Itaquerao," the stadium's redevelopment is the least advanced of any of the 12 World Cup venues (XINHUA, 5/7).

Privately held developer DAMAC Properties said on Sunday that "it would work with American real-estate mogul Donald Trump to build a new golf course in Dubai, adding to a growing list of project announcements in the emirate," according to REUTERS. Developers in Dubai "are reviving stalled projects and announcing new ones as the emirate's property market recovers gradually after prices tumbled" by 50% in '08. DAMAC Properties said that the Trump Int'l Golf Club Dubai will be at the center of its 28 million square foot development called "Akoya by DAMAC." Construction "is already underway and the course will be ready next year" (REUTERS, 5/5). ARABIAN BUSINESS' Courtney Trenwith wrote the golf course is to be "surrounded by mansions, villas, townhouses and luxurious apartments." It will also include a spa, boutique hotels and int'l schools from kindergarten to secondary, as well as globally-recognized retail brands, "leisure and entertainment offerings and a sports complex." Trump Int'l Golf Club "will include a 30,000 square foot state-of-the-art club house and luxurious Trump Spa & Wellness Centre, which will be managed by The Trump Organization" (ARABIAN BUSINESS, 5/6). GLOBEST's David Phillips wrote a recent study by accounting firm KPMG for the first time "placed the UAE in the top 10 most popular destinations worldwide for golf tourism." Dubai and Abu Dhabi "sit in 6th place on the table," ahead of more established destinations including the U.S., U.K. and South Africa (GLOBEST, 5/7).