Football stadium to be privatized
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL—Rio authorities have given private companies the right to manage Brazil’s biggest football stadium for the next 35 years. The Maracana stadium will host the final match of next year’s World Cup and the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics.
Campaigners have protested against the privatization of the stadium after three years of renovation work, where the Brazilian government spent over $500 million of public money to prepare the stadium for the world cup.
The bidding process for the stadium had “been approved by the legal authorities” and was “perfectly legal.”
When given the World Cup, the Brazilian government worked towards revamping the stadium, demolishing nearly the entire structure. The seating capacity was lowered, but players and the media had stated that the quality of the stadium itself had improved substantially.
The Maracana reopened on April 27 with a friendly match between former world champions Bebeto and Ronaldo. Its first official match will take place on June 2 between football teams Brazil and England.
It will be used for three matches in the Confederation’s Cup in June, before opening up for the World Cup.
By: Julia Roake
10 May 2013