Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena Remains Incomplete; Builder Vows To Finish By April 15
At the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo, which will host the World Cup's opening game on June 12, "giant yellow-colored steel girders prop up the roof, thousands of seats remain to be installed, the video screens have yet to be mounted and the dressing rooms lack any trace of furniture," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. On an "exclusive tour" of the stadium, "loose wires could be seen hanging in some areas and white seats were piled up at the stadium's entrance." Access was provided by Brasileiro side Corinthians, which owns the stadium in "Brazil's most populous city." The stadium, "known locally as the Itaquerao, has become one of the symbols of the country's troubled buildup to sport's most-watched single-sport event." Spokesperson Marco Antonio Antunes of construction company Odebrecht, which is responsible for the arena, said, "We are in the closing stages." The corporate boxes have "yet to be completed." Dressing rooms, referees' rooms and the drug-testing area have "no fixtures or fittings." Odebrecht has "promised to finish construction by April 15." Antunes: "By the 15th, everything you see here that's not finished will be finished. Then it will be up to FIFA to complete its work." While Odebrecht is "responsible for the main construction, it's not working on the temporary structures FIFA requires for World Cup stadiums." FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke has said that FIFA "typically needs 90 days to install those facilities, which include media seats, corporate hospitality marquees and giant screens." None of that work "was visible" at the stadium on Monday. Nearly a third of the stadium's seats will be temporary (BLOOMBERG, 3/25).