White elephants earmarked

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Four FIFA World Cup 2014 host stadia have been earmarked as future white elephants by Brazil's 'Accounts Tribunal of the Union'.

The federal body, which oversees the administrators of public funds, released a report in July 2010 warning that the stadium projects for Brasilia, Cuiaba, Manaus and Natal are at risk of losing money following the 2014 event, with all four locations lacking a strong football tradition. Specifically, the tribunal stated that the earning potential of each project is not considered sufficient to cover the cost of ongoing maintenance, and that none are likely to provide a return on investment. Defenders of the four projects, particularly those in key tourist destinations (Cuiabá–The Pantanal, Natal–northeast beach resort region, Manaus–the Amazon), have cited untapped non–football revenues, such as from concerts and other entertainment possibilities, as the rationale for the investments; critics argue that such multi–purpose facilities are untested in Brazil and are too risky. The Brasilia project, in the nation's capital, is considered too large (60, 000+ capacity, mainly to compete for the opening ceremony) to be sustainable in the long run. The combined cost of the four projects currently sits at R$1. 94bn, all of which will be financed by the government, with up to 75% to come from the Brazilian National Development Bank on favourable terms. For the other eight 2014 host stadia projects, the tribunal labelled four as essentially risk–free thanks to strong existing demand led by football usage (Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre), while the other four are considered to have a good chance of recuperating their respective investments (Curitiba, Fortaleza, Recife and Salvador). Meanwhile, an established and well–regarded football training centre in the north–east of Brazil is currently seeking outside investors, presenting a potential opportunity for relevant overeas groups looking to gain a foothold in the country or align with Brazilian football ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Located less than 50km from Fortaleza, the coastal capital of the state of Ceará and one of the 12 host cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 'North–East Sport Training Centre', or CETEN as it is known, offers a range of infrastructure spread over eight hectares including a small stadium of 2, 500 capacity, three other official football fields, an administrative centre, gym, physiotherapy room, plus leisure facilities and accommodation for up to 120 athletes. The centre has already been utilised by some of Brazil's top football clubs including Palmeiras, Gremio and recent Copa Libertadores champion Internacional, and is also being supported by a string of sponsors. An important focus is attracting foreign groups interested in training in the facility and learning about Brazilian football techniques. The key opportunities involve direct investment in the centre, with the owners, high profile businessmen Angelo Oliva, Fernando Oliva and Sergio Mantese, offering up to 49% for around $2. 8m. The minimum 10% stake is just under $600, 000. 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/

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