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Volume 6 No. 194


Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium, which was inaugurated in '57, "has since undergone various renovations, with the most significant coming before the '82 World Cup," according to Moisés Llorens. Barcelona President Sandro Rosell "believes that now is the best time to decide what to do with the stadium: leave it as is, renovate it or build a new one." To decide, "during the first trimester of next year, Barcelona's board will hold a referendum in which it will make a decision." Building a new stadium in the "university section of the city's Diagonal Avenue" would bring the team €40M ($54M) per year by "taking advantage of commercial zones, extra parking spaces and VIP boxes." Renovating Camp Nou "would be complex, because construction would make serious problems for members," while revenue created by renovations would be €20M ($27M) per year. Leaving Camp Nou as it is "would distance Barcelona from other European clubs, which are taking advantage of their new facilities" (AS, 10/15).

Brazil's "iconic Maracana stadium has reopened to tourists," more than four months after ending a three-year, $500M facelift, according to XINHUA. Officials on Monday said that "guided tours lasting an hour allow fans access to the pitch, dressing rooms, VIP boxes and other areas of the 'inner sanctum.'" Visitors will "also pass through a 750 square meters hall featuring memorabilia, photos and exhibits, including a statue of Zico" and a bust of Garrincha (XINHUA, 10/14). LA AFICION reported the Maracana, the host of the 1950 World Cup final, "opening to tours will add another tourist attraction to the city of Rio de Janeiro." Historian Bruno Lucena, who is charged with guiding visits, said that "a place as important to the history of football as the Maracana should be open to visitors." Prices for the tours range from $7-$14. Students in "Rio de Janeiro's public schools will get free tours one day per week if they schedule in advance" (LA AFICION, 10/14).