World Cup Venue Arena Corinthians Remains Work In Progress Ahead Of June Event
Brasileiro side Corinthians has "taken formal control of the stadium that will host the opening match of this year's World Cup," but officials said on Tuesday that "there is still a lot of work to do before the arena is ready to host big games," according to Andrew Downie of REUTERS. Corinthians President Mario Gobbi said, "I am enchanted. I am in love. There's emotion, passion, dreams. I need to pinch myself to see if all this is for real." Gobbi, however, called the delivery by construction firm Odebrecht "a symbolic act" and said that there "is still a way to go and we need to work together." The Arena Corinthians was "supposed to have been finished last December but the already slow construction work was delayed further by two separate accidents in which three workers were killed." The stadium, scheduled to host six games, including a semifinal, will cost almost 1B reais ($450M). Former Corinthians President Andres Sanchez, who is "overseeing the project," said it will come in at 14-18% over budget, "making it among the most expensive of the 12 World Cup grounds." It was designed to "seat 48,000 fans but another 20,000 temporary seats are being installed for the World Cup." The makeshift grandstands behind both goals are "still under construction and there is still work to be done inside the stadium, including finishing the luxurious VIP areas where 150 dignitaries will be seated" (REUTERS, 4/15).
ARENA PANTANAL: WORLD FOOTBALL INSIDER's Mark Bisson reported the architects of the Arena Pantanal in Cuaiba said that "concerns about the venue's legacy are misplaced." GCP Architects Principal Sergio Coelho, whose firm is responsible for the project, said that "modular elements of the north and south grandstands will allow the government" of the state of Mato Grosso to "downsize capacity to 27,000 to meet post-tournament demand" (WORLD FOOTBALL INSIDER, 4/15).