2014 modifications a reality

Sport Business News

Whilst the concept of using major sporting events like the FIFA World Cup and Olympics to drive urban and social development in host cities is not new, the unique set of circumstances for each location plays a major role, of course, in determining just how such development unfolds. In Brazil, the circumstances in host cities, all 12 different versions of them, are so far proving rather tricky and non–conducive to top class outcomes.

There has been no lack of ambition and lofty discussion in relation to the potential of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Rio 2016 to bring about major positive changes to urban infrastructure and social situations around Brazil, however the harsh realities of mounting such massive, coordinated projects involving both public and private funds and multiple levels of government have already kicked well in and are forcing the modification of many earlier plans, all during a Brazilian election year which has further complicated matters right across the board. Following recent trips by Brazilian groups to South Africa to inspect 2010 FIFA World Cup stadia, a number of journalists and commentators have pointed to the similarities and differences between the two countries in an attempt to create scenarios for the Brazilian tournament a couple of months out from the opening match. Among other things, one journo suggested Sao Paulo's Morumbi Stadium will not be accepted by FIFA as the opening ceremony host simply because it will only be a refurbished venue and not a brand spanking new one, as is the case for Soccer City in Johannesburg, location of the 2010 FIFA World Cup opener. Another commentator more sensibly went over some of the differences between Johannesburg's two host stadia, famed rugby shrine Ellis Park and the new Soccer City arena, pointing out that whilst the former, older and slightly shabby–looking venue will merely host some of the pool matches, the virgin Soccer City will be the stage for the tournament's biggest matches; i. e. not all 2014 stadia will be, or, more importantly, will need to be at the same 'world's best' level, and some won't even be in the same ballpark, so to speak. Others mentioned the fact that, even though many of the 2010 stadia are fantastic, modern venues, the host cities themselves have remained stuck with the same problems from before the World Cup bid was won. Again, it all comes down to circumstances, and it is more than likely that at least some of the 12 host cities for 2014 will find their particular circumstances have forced their grand initial vision to remain just that, and that, come 2014, significantly modified versions will be the reality; as mentioned above, this is already happening to some extent. With such major modifications a near certainty, the challenge then becomes how these changes unfold and what focus the altered projects take on, particularly in relation to urban and social development. In many ways, the focus should ideally shift away from the quality of the actual stadia and on to the associated improvements in the cities' infrastructure and the well–being of its residents, areas that should be the last to suffer from whichever hiccups during the planning and development process. Sure, some of the 2014 stadia may not end up as mind blowing, 2006 Cup–style pieces of design genius, but, as long as FIFA's minimum requirements are met, the limited, circumstance–affected resources will be better put to use improving Brazil's urban infrastructure and social dilemmas. About Simon TarmoA journalist from Sydney, Australia, and co–founder of industry journal Australian Sponsorship News, Simon Tarmo now lives in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Having worked on a range of writing, research and trade projects across a number of industries including sport, entertainment and wine, he is currently focusing on business opportunities involving the 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 in Brazil. With fluent Portuguese language skills, he has an extensive network of contacts throughout Brazil and can advise and assist foreign groups doing business in the country. More details http://simontarmo. blogspot. com/ ~ Simon Tarmo+55 31 9196 0069simon@pando. com. auhttp://simontarmo. blogspot. com/

Additional information