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Corinthians are putting a massive picture of their Copa Libertadores triumph on the side of their new stadium, the venue for the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.
The pic looks great and covers the whole side of the ground. It is so big that it will reportedly be seen from the main road running past the arena. (See pic below and this link to high res downloads.)
However, the club still hasn’t said how much the stadium, which is being built thanks to political intervention and hundreds of millions of reais in low interest loans from the government, will cost.
The official budget is 820 million reais, around $410 million dollars at today’s exchange rate.
But almost two years after the official project was launched, the club and builder Odebrecht haven’t said how much it – and taxpayers – will shell out to install and remove 20,000 temporary seats for the World Cup.
As is often the case in Brazil, the suspicion is that builders leave these things to the last minute. They can then cite any jacked up price. If anyone complains, they claim that the lack of time means they have no other option than to pay top whack.
Authorities, fearing embarrassment if the job is not done in time, succumb.
FIFA are yet to formally make the announcement but it seems like a done deal, with SP Mayor Gilberto Kassab confirming it was imminent.
So, Itaquerão it is. (See images of the proposed stadium here.)
Questions still remain. Will it be ready in time and just what are the chances it will come in on or under its stated budget of approx. 820 million reais?
Slim, and none, if you ask me.
More details here in my Financial Times piece.