Venue Focus: Rio, Brazil

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the first time that a country will use 12 venues after Brazil was given special permission by FIFA. The Brazilian Football Association estimated that it would cost $1.1bn (£721m) to construct and remodel the stadia needed.

Prior to winning the 2016 Olympic Games, 74% of venues for the event had been built in Rio or were temporary and 26% were to be built. The core venues – the Joao Havelange Stadium, the Aquatic Centre, the Velodrome, the Arena and the Deodoro complex – were built for the 2007 Pan American Games and continue to be used in competitions at present. The 90, 000–seat legendary Maracana Stadium, proposed venue for the Rio 2016 opening and closing ceremonies and the event's Olympic football finals, is in place and will be further improved by 2016 thanks to planned renovations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Rio 2016 will benefit all athletes and Games officials by having a single Olympic Village. The Olympic Village has been planned to maximise the experience for the athletes, including an entertainment boulevard and a private Olympic Beach. The International Broadcast Centre (IBC) and Main Press Centre (MPC) will be within walking distance of many of the Games venues, distinctly placed within the Olympic Park and in the Barra Cluster that will host nearly 50% of Rio 2016 competitions. The IBC and MPC are important constructions within the Olympic Village, fully funded as part of Rio's long–term development plan. Rio is expected to provide a stunning setting for sport with the world's top athletes performing in front of the city's beautiful settings. A spokesperson for Rio 2016 said: "We want to elevate sport presentation to new levels. We will fund a $15m four–year programme – in partnership with the IOC, IPC and IFs [international federations] – to develop and implement pioneering projects, improving the spectator experience for fans at the stadium and broadcast audiences around the world. "Organisers of the 2016 Games have told the IOC that they had already taken steps forward in their planning. "We're making significant progress, " Carlos Nuzman, the Rio 2016 organising committee president and CEO, told an IOC Session on the eve of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. Nuzman said that Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva had proposed a bill releasing $167m dollars for the planning of the Olympic Park as well as a new anti–doping laboratory. Nuzman also addressed questions about the Committee's improvement regarding transportation in the city's first progress report before the Olympians. "Transport is a very important issue. That has made significant progress in improving what we promised during our candidature including a new metro link connecting Rio's two subway lines that has already increased capacity in the network by 200, 000 journeys a day, " said Nuzman. Said Mickey Charles, president and CEO of The Sports Network: " The famous Maracana soccer stadium, the largest in South America, built in the 1950s for the FIFA World Cup is being refurbished for the 2014 FIFA World Cup that they are hosting here. They still have some other facilities built for the Pan American Games they hosted a few years ago but this is the tip of the iceberg. Cities of venues for events must be constructed...coupled with public transportation, subway, water, sewer, electricity. . . and more. There's lots to do to bring Rio up to scratch. "The Maracanã StadiumThe Maracanã stadium (official name: Estádio Mário Filho, Maracanã being its neighbourhood's name) is one of the largest football stadia in the world, and is home of the four biggest football teams in Rio: Flamengo, Botafogo, Vasco da Gama and Fluminense. The stadium, built for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, originally had a capacity of 200, 000. However, its capacity was greatly reduced when it was converted to an all–seater venue in the 1990s; it can currently hold around 70, 000 seated and 120, 000 with standing room. It is undergoing renovations that will increase its all–seated capacity to around 100, 000. São Januário Stadium São Januário Stadium is the home ground of Clube de Regatas Vasco da Gama. It is located in the Vasco da Gama district in Rio. The stadium has a capacity of 31, 000 and it was inaugurated in 1927. São Januário was the biggest stadium in Rio until 1950 (when the Maracanã was built). Other sports venuesHipãdromo da Gávea, capacity 80, 000, built 1875Autãdromo Nelson Piquet, capacity 60, 000, built 1977Rio has 21 other stadia with a capacity over 10, 000. Rio de Janeiro's Rocinha Integrative Sports Centre opened on 8 March 2010. Located in a poor community with 56, 000 inhabitants, the space has boxing, judo and volleyball gyms, sporting courts, football field, swimming pool, surf school, skate ramp, a medical centre and restaurant. The inauguration featured the presence of Brazil president Lula, Rio's governor SÉrgio Cabral, the mayor Eduardo Paes and the president of the Rio 2016 Games Organising Committee, Nuzman. "By giving access to sport, education, leisure and culture, we will have more and more people who are better for our country. It is a joy to be a part of this inauguration. The children can learn to compete and, who knows, win medals in the 2016 Games. Today, Rocinha is a reason for Brazil to be proud, " said Lula. In order to build the Integrative Sports Centre, R$23, 7m was invested. Each sport played at the centre has an established Brazilian athlete as a sponsor, such as the judo star Flávio Canto (Bronze Medal in the 2004, Athens Games) and the ex–beach volleyball players Adriana Behar and Shelda (silver in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004). "The centre will cater to 4, 000 people a day, with many classes and different sport modalities, " explained governor Cabral. The new sports complex was to be administered by the state sports, tourism and leisure department and will also offer courses for professional qualification. "The Brazilian people's passion for sport has increased even more after Rio de Janeiro was chosen to be the headquarters for the 2016 games. With these new installations, the residents of Rocinha will take advantage of the benefits of playing a sport. The space is marvellous and will surely forge future champions, " said Nuzman.

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