The real cost of hosting a World Cup

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“You don’t often see people consciously building a white elephant, but that’s what I witnessed in Brasilia last year. Smack in downtown, on the main avenue of Brazil’s tropical capital, workers were finishing off a stadium for 70,000 people. The Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha is one of 12 stadiums for next year’s World Cup. And even before the tournament ends, it will be redundant. No club from Brasilia plays in the two divisions of the Brazilian national league. Even what passes for the local powerhouse, Brasilia Futebol Clube, plays only in the local state league, in which the average game draws fewer than 1,000 fans. Nor will the Rolling Stones regularly visit this city in the middle of nowhere to fill the Nacional. Brasilia might as well tear down the stadium after the last World Cup game and save itself maintenance costs. So could other host cities such as Manaus, Cuiaba and Natal.” ESPN – Simon Kuper (Video)

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