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Volume 6 No. 193


Building work at Curitiba's 2014 World Cup stadium, the Arena da Baixada, has been "suspended on the orders of a Brazilian labour tribunal due to numerous and serious safety breaches," according to Tatiana Ramil of REUTERS. The Parana Regional Labor Tribunal said in a statement that judge Lorena Colnago said in her written decision, "Countless infractions have been committed, in various stages of the building project." In the "latest blow to tournament preparations," Colnago said that there was "a serious risk of workers being buried, run over and of collision, falling from heights and being hit by construction material, among other serious risks." Work is "already behind schedule at the stadium" and Colnago added that a "new inspection would have to be carried out before it could re-start." After a visit from FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke in August, the stadium's owner, Brazilian side Atletico Paranaense, agreed to abandon "plans to fit a retractable roof to save time." FIFA said that all stadiums "must be ready for delivery in December and no delays would be tolerated" (REUTERS, 10/2). AS reported Colnago "threatened a fine" of €165,000 ($224,268) if "construction is not suspended." The stadium was "scheduled to be completed by December and was 78.9% complete by the end of August." Arena da Baixada will host "four World Cup games, all in the first phase" (AS, 10/2).

'NO PLAN B': The BBC reported the news comes a week after an investigation "revealed that construction workers employed on another World Cup-related project faced what were termed 'slave-like' conditions." Investigators said that "more than 100 workers employed to expand Sao Paulo's international airport were living in unsuitable accommodation near the building site." Valcke said in regards to further delays that there was "no plan B" (BBC, 10/2).

The "decision on the location for Bundesliga club SC Freiburg's new stadium will be delayed because evaluation reports for the Wolfswinkel site will take longer than expected," according to the BADISCHE ZEITUNG. The city announced the city council's decision "will be moved from late this year to the end of January." The reason for the delay "is that the issues surrounding the Wolfswinkel site are too complex and diverse." Freiburg Mayor Martin Haag said, "Thoroughness and enough time for discussion with citizens are more important than quickness" (BADISCHE ZEITUNG, 10/1).

The construction cost of the F1 circuit in the Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi is to go up by one-third, the developer says. The total construction cost of the Sochi Int'l Street Circuit, which is to host an inaugural race next year, will be 11B rubles ($341M), a spokesperson for Tsentr Omega, the project’s developer company, which is run by the regional authorities, told SBD Global. He did not, however, explain why the figure was considerably higher than what was previously announced. When the agreement about holding an F1 race near Sochi was signed by Krasnodarsky Krai Governor Alexander Tkachev and F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone in Oct. '10, the project’s total cost was estimated at $200M. In late '12, the figure of 7.9B rubles ($245M) was reported by the Russian media.

WHO GETS THE BILL? In Oct.'11, Krasnodar Krai authorities said that the federal government had earmarked just less than $200M for the construction of the circuit. It is not yet clear where the remaining cash will come from. Business daily Vedomosti quoted Gennady Sayenko, head of Tsentr Omega’s division in charge of the F1 circuit construction, as saying that that the previous estimates did not take into account some requirements by the project’s design company, Germany’s Tilke GmbH. The Grand Prix of Russia is on the F1 calendar for next year and is scheduled to run on Oct. 5.
Vladimir Kozlov is a writer in Moscow.