Architecture plans for Brazil’s FIFA World Cup stadia have been impressive and earned strong support as excitement mounts for the event. However, as the plans are in the process of being realized, deadlines are being missed and money is starting to drain.
This in itself leaving many in the Brazilian industry asking the question: Will the investment recoup enough money back?
Commentators are divided on that point.
For those in the negative, the problems lie in the architecture – the stadia themselves.
According to prominent journalist Juca Kfouri Brazil, there is too strong an emphasis on building monstrous stadiums in out-of-context locations and not enough on the purity of the game itself.
“We are seeing an attempt to host an event to showcase a country that is not real,” says Kfouri. “There is too much emphasis on stadiums and too little focus on the legacy for the cities involved.”
A study undertaken by the TCU agrees with these sentiments. The study recorded the mounting fears that four of the 12 arenas, including the major stadium in Brasilia, are out of context, out of scale and at risk of becoming unsustainable ‘white elephant’ infrastructure pieces.
BDO RCS business expert Amir Soggi explains that spending heavily does not equate to cultural significance and may, in fact, lead to a bad investment.
“These four stadiums are in cities that do not have strong teams or leagues,” says Soggi. “The money currently being spent there is double the amount that could pay off the investment.”
However, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Sport, the country’s economy is expected to grow by over $70 billion just as a result of hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This economic stimulus is predicted to directly relate to “private and public investment in infrastructure, heightened consumption, increased activity in the services sector and tax collection.”
Morgan Stanley’s Blue Paper states that the more Brazil spends on infrastructure, the more economic benefits they will reap, with the research report showing a predicted increase of economic growth correlating directly with the major scheduled projects for the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
The Ministry of Sport is backing this point, with Brazil predicted to become the world’s fifth largest economy by the time the games are up and running in four years time.
Strong economy or otherwise, if a built environment is founded on principles and ideologies that are not culturally in tune, is it truly a successful environment?
While the predictions are still strong economically – especially now that legislation has been amended which is expected to aid in the fast tracking of industry projects for the World Cup – if these developments do not appeal to Brazilians, their culture or their context, than they risk being a failure in the long run.