Brazil’s Stadiums Feared Relics

There was little doubt that once the World Cup games were finished, host country Brazil was going to have a hard time making its soccer stadiums profitable.

The country built 12 stadiums even though FIFA demanded a minimum of eight.

Organizers built the additional stadiums mostly to satisfy local politicians. One stadium, in the capital Brasilia, cost $900 million, making it the most expensive soccer venue ever built in London.

Add to it stadiums in Cuiaba, Manaus and Natal, and the price jumps to $1.6 billion, which was one of the rallying points for the less-fortunate who protested the games.

The $260 million Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba, which drew 40,000 for the World Cup, is expected to host the championship game of Brazil’s Serie C, or the third division, on July 20, and officials are hoping for 4,000 fans.

In Natal, the stadium will hold a Serie B match between America and Bragantino that is expected to draw 3,000.

However, Brazil has a $2.5 trillion economy and the World Cup could increase tourism and boost the reelection chances in October of President Dilma Rousseff.