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In less than 6 months, millions of people will be traveling to Brazil to view the soccer matches that make up the FIFA World Cup. The question is, will the South American country be prepared to host this event? The answer is yes, but barely…it is more like they have to be. The entire country is con- fi dent that the 12 host cities will have all of the proper infrastructure competed in time.
Of the 12 stadiums that had to be built or renovated, only a few of them are done. The original FIFA deadline to have these stadiums finished was December 31st, which was then extended to February, but many still think the stadiums will not be completed on time. The reason they keep extending the deadline is because there is no backup location. If Brazil man- ages to keep pushing through, the stadiums will be ready for action by April 15th.
With seven years to prepare, and a $3.3 billion budget, people have been wondering why there are so many delays. In a statement, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said, “They started a lot too late.”
Thinking long term, more than just the stadiums have to be taken care of. The airports, roads and hotels aren’t ready to handle the influx of people arriving in a few months.
However, the pressure to finish the infrastructure might end up being good for Brazil, because they are also holding the Summer Olympic Games in 2016. They have even further to go in terms of preparedness for the Games, considering soccer isn’t the only sport, and a significantly greater amount of people will be visiting in just under two years after the World Cup.
When asked if he thought Brazil would be ready, DCB professor Joshua Ross said, “Yes, as with any major International sporting event that requires building infrastructure and facilities, there are delays and issues leading up to the event.”
Ross is absolutely right when he says, “The issue will be with the estimated million Brazilians pro- testing during the World Cup. The government upset the people of Brazil by raising bus fares to help pay the multi-billion dollar bill required to host the World Cup and Olympics.”
This new bus fare has really been a source of trouble for the people of Brazil. In a time that is sup- posed to be promoting nationalism and country pride, it has caused a feeling of resentment towards the government.
Renovations in some cities such as in Rio de Janeiro are costing twice as much as officials expected. They want to add space for up to 22,000 people in many of the cities, but will be lucky to support half that many.
So, is there anything people can look forward to? Definitely! Tourists can count on fair travel prices, as several airlines have capped their prices. The whole point of the World Cup is to play soccer, and there are lots of good matches to look forward to. Combine team spirit, crazy fans and a beautiful location, everything’s going to turn out fine.
Best of luck to host cities in their final preparations, and to the teams participating in the games!
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