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Volume 6 No. 214


Brazil's government on Tuesday issued its "first estimate of public spending on projects" related to the 2016 Rio Olympics, though the $2.3B price tag is "set to swell as more projects receive approval," according to Pedro Fonseca of REUTERS. The initial estimate from Brazil's Public Olympic Authority (APO) includes "spending by federal, state and municipal governments for 24 approved projects carried out through both public-private partnerships and by the government alone." The number does not "include spending on 28 planned projects that still require approval." The total estimate, which is "due to be revised in March," also excludes projects such as "airports and pollution control, which are not dedicated strictly to holding the Olympics." Last week, officials said that the operating budget for the Olympics and Paralympic Games in '16 had jumped 27% from prior estimates to 7B reais ($2.9B), "citing factors such as inflation and costs for new technology." The operating budget was "originally set to include" up to 1.4B reais ($580M) in public funds, but officials later "reduced that figure to zero in response to public outcry over the high cost of stadiums and other projects required by the Olympics" and the World Cup. APO officials "contradicted that pledge on Tuesday, saying Brazil's government could indeed take on some of those costs if necessary." The Rio 2016 organizing committee estimated the Games would cost 28.8B reais when it bid to host the event in '09 (REUTERS, 1/28).

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that two-time Russian football champions Rubin Kazan will not move into its new stadium this season because it would "destroy the pitch," according to R-SPORT. The 45,000-capacity Kazan Arena was completed last summer at a reported cost of $400M and hosted ceremonies during July’s University Games, but is "yet to host its first football match." It will be one of the 12 venues when Russia hosts the 2018 World Cup. This means Rubin will continue to play at the 53-year-old Central Stadium, a venue "notorious for pitch problems" that have often caused Rubin to play its spring fixtures in Moscow, 700km from home. The Russian national team will play four friendlies ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, with May 24 and 31 "the most likely dates for a Kazan fixture" (R-SPORT, 1/28).