Brazil’s World Cup stadiums, the subject of much debate in recent months, have all been tested in anticipation of the June 12 launch of the international tournament.
The stress tests were performed at Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo and the Arena Pantanal in the western city of Cuiaba. These are the final two of the 12 World Cup stadiums to receive stress tests, but there’s a catch: none of the stress tests were performed with a full crowd. For instance, the Itaquerao holds 70,000 fans, but only 40,000 were on hand for the stress test. And the stadium isn’t exactly finished, per AP:
It rained heavily late in the first half and there was hail falling at halftime, forcing some of the fans to scramble for cover as part of the stadium’s roof is not finished. The construction company in charge of the venue said Friday that glass covers that had to be installed in part of the roof will not be ready until after the World Cup, so the same could happen during the tournament next month.
There was a lot of work left outside the venues too, especially on infrastructure projects aimed at improving nearby roads. In most World Cup venues, the installation of temporary structures needed to accommodate sponsors, media and technical teams are likely to continue until just days before the tournament begins.
The Itaquerao, which will also host a semifinal and other four matches in addition to the opener, was initially expected to cost $160 million, but the final amount spent was close to $540 million. Part of the venue’s financing came from tax breaks and government loans.
Construction on the stadiums began in 2011.