Arena da Amazônia, the useless $270 million stadium

Manaus - arena da amazonia

Photo by Gabriel Smith/Flickr

By Aaron Cranford

The multimillion dollar stadium I will visit in Manaus, Brazil will not be used for next year’s 2016 Olympics, which deems it useless.

In my statement for the Frances L. Phillips Travel Scholarship, I talked about the possibility of the stadium becoming a modern relic, such as how the arenas and tracks appear in Beijing, China following their hosting of the 2008 Olympics.

“If the stadium continues to be rarely used, the jungle and Amazonian weather will deteriorate it, and in ten or twenty years, the forest will consume the stadium and create a modern relic, such as in Beijing,” I said in the statement.

Per a release from FIFA, Manaus will not host any soccer matches in next year’s 2016 Olympics. The Rio de Janeiro 2016 organizing committee listed the city as a possible host for a few matches, but it does not look like the stadium will be used.

“We do not consider Manaus as a suitable first option for a hosting venue,” the world football’s governing body said in their release Friday.

“Given the Olympic football tournament is only two weeks long, FIFA’s preference has also always been on short distances between the other football venues and the Olympic city Rio de Janeiro to provide the participating teams with the best possible Olympic experience.”

The final decision between FIFA and the organizing committee will be made in March, but their message is clear: Manaus is not a great location for a pricy stadium.

When I travel to the city in June or July, I will see this wonderful, but useless stadium. I will want to observe and capture the condition of it while there. I hope that the stadium is used again, but I am afraid my initial suspicions are correct. Arena da Amazônia hosted three 2014 World Cup matches, but it may never have the opportunity to host more international competitions again.

This is an ongoing series of journal entries, in which I will explain and document my preparation for travel and travel through Brazil in May through August of 2015. You can read each journal entry on The Orange Traveler or on ojogobonito.weebly.com where they will initially be published.

Have you visited the stadium? What do you think about this development? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Arena da Amazônia, the useless $270 million stadium

  1. The arena is built just a couple of kilometers down the road from another giant, unused stadium, this one with unfixed cracks in the cement and moss growing over everything else.

    Like

  2. Pingback: FIFA changes its mind, Manaus will host more soccer | The Orange Traveler

  3. Pingback: Reflection: Brazil taught me a lot about soccer but more about loneliness and passion | The Orange Traveler

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