Iconic 72,000-seater World Cup football stadium lies abandoned and 'scabby' with car park now a BUS DEPOT | The Sun
A World Cup stadium has been left abandoned… with the car park now turned into a bus depot.
The Mane Garrincha, which holds 72,000 fans, held seven games in the 2014 tournament in Brazil nine years ago.
They included Brazil's group-stage win over Cameroon and third-place play-off defeat to the Netherlands, as well as Argentina's quarter-final victory over Belgium.
The hosts were eliminated by eventual winners Germany after being humiliated 7-1 in the semi-finals.
But nowadays it hosts very few football games, with the venue instead being used for random events such as tattoo festivals and Japanese food expos.
And the car park has been turned into a temporary bus depot by the local government.
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When it was developed in 2010 – to replace the old 45,000-seater version of the original stadium built in 1974 – it was the second most expensive football ground in history – behind the new Wembley – at around £250milllion.
And it is still draining funds to this day, costing £132,000 per month to maintain.
Since the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, it has been left largely desolate.
It hosted seven matches in the 2021 Copa America – including one semi-final and the third-place play-off.
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But there is an apocalyptic feel to the ground, with metal railings littered everywhere, an underground tunnel once used by journalists padlocked shut, concrete turning into rubble, and three-and-a-half-year-old signs for the Rio Olympics.
Flamengo come to town to play matches every now and again, albeit only a couple of times per year.
Sao Paulo lawyer Elton Eneas told The Athletic: "Brazilians were excited by the prospect of the World Cup, so they tolerated the spending,
"Because of the party atmosphere, they accepted it but everyone knew it would turn out like this.
"This stadium sends a message about Brazil: that everything is short-term.
"When the big occasion has passed, people just forget. It makes me sad and ashamed."
While a local taxi driver, Wagner da Silva, added: "It just sits there, empty. If I had to describe it in one word? Robbery."
Politicians have attempted to recoup some money by staging concerts in the stadium.
The likes of Beyonce, Aerosmith, Linkin Park and Guns N' Roses have performed there.
Three government departments were also moved into the venue.
But the losses continued before, in 2019, a consortium won a tender to administer the stadium for 35 years, paying the government £800,000 per year and five per cent of any profits.
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The consortium plans to turn the area into a more commercial operation filled with shops, restaurants and offices.
The original completion date was set for 2024, however there has not been any recent update as to whether that is still the plan.
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