Brazil’s national government poured $4 billion into new and renovated World Cup stadiums for this summer’s tournament, a high price tag that drew harsh criticism from many of its own citizens. So what should happen now that the 12 stadiums’ intended purpose has run its course?
Sylvain Macaux and Axel de Stampa of 1 Week 1 Project believe the stadiums could make spaces available for the Brazilians who need it most. The French architects have proposed transforming each athletic facility into affordable housing complexes for Brazil’s homeless and impoverished populations, the project, titled “Casa Futebol,” could house an estimated 20,000 residents.
The stadiums will continue costing as much as $250,000 per month to maintain, but will bring in only a fraction of the revenue and audience sizes the World Cup drew. The 1 Week 1 Project proposal would help alleviate those financial burdens while filling a crucial housing deficit affecting Brazil’s poorest citizens.
Al Jazeera reported in May that about 250,000 Brazilians were either evicted or threatened with eviction due to skyrocketing housing costs near World Cup stadiums. The poorest Brazilians bore the brunt of the heftier living expenses, with Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre most affected by increases in housing costs, according to the Popular Committee for the World Cup and Olympics.
But football fans in Brazil wouldn’t have to worry about their iconic stadiums turning into nothing more than glorified apartment complexes. Matches could still be played on the interior fields, staying true to Brazil’s interest in its national sport while”proposing an alternative in the deficit of housing, the 1 Week 1 Project website states.
So can we expect these incredible stadium transformations anytime soon? No.
“It’s a bit ambitious, but we would like to bring people to question themselves about the social contexts that always accompany these programs,” Macaux said, noting that like other 1 Week 1 Project designs, the proposal is more of a thought experiment.
As we debate if we should see the return of standing areas in football grounds, rugby stadia down under are heading in the opposite direction.
Samsung has created a set of seats which move on tracks alongside the pitch as part of its sponsorship of the Wallabies, named the ‘SlideLiner,’ the seats run along an 80m track beside the pitch, moving up and down the touchline to follow the game in real time. The chairs, which are controlled by an operator with a joystick, can move at move at speeds of more than 12mph and will be introduced for the opening match of the Rugby Championship against the All Blacks on 16 August.
There are also individually built-in cool boxes and a tablet screen so fans can take pictures from one of the four cameras mounted on the device and post to social media.
Sounds great. One snag, they were initially installed the wrong way around, facing away from the pitch.
While we have been used to forecasting problems with the 2014 World Cup, Rio 2016, Qatar 2022, we wouldn’t suspect preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are hitting snags. The reality is that rising construction costs are forcing several plans to be thoroughly reviewed.
In June Yoichi Masuzoe, Governor of Tokyo announced plans to revise several construction projects for Olympic facilities. The Tokyo Games made hosting games within an 8km radius of the Olympic Village a selling point with initial plans to build a marina in Wakasu, Tokyo’s Koto Ward, for the sailing events. However Tokyo is now considering scrapping the plan to host the event at the Inage yacht harbour, about 25km away from the Olympic Village
A project to build a new national stadium also remains in limbo. The demolition work of the existing facility, which was initially scheduled to take place this month, has been delayed due to ballooning costs of construction which may push the actual cost to more than double the original estimate.
But that hasn’t dampened Japanese spirits as Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is planning on holding an Olympics for robots alongside the games.
Prime Minister Abe said: “In 2020, I would like to gather all of the world’s robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skills……we would like to set up a council on making a robotic revolution a reality in order to aid Japan’s growth.”
Craig Charles might be expecting a call: