For the second time in Brazil, the world’s most prestigious football event will take place in the country. Held in 1950 for the first time, the World Cup will return in Brazil in 2014. And São Paulo being one of the country’s most important cities, will have the honor to be among the 11 cities to host the games, along with Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Manaus, Salvador, Natal, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Recife, and Belo Horizonte.
World Cup 2014 to São Paulo
Aside from the prestige the World Cup will bring to São Paulo, the event is perceived to bring the city an estimated income of $1.68 billion from over 500,000 tourists coming from all over the world. This figure does not even include the transportation and lodging expenses of the tourists and the projected 20% increase of visitors in the city two years after the event.
São Paulo’s home ground is the Morumbi, which is also the biggest stadium in the city. For World Cup 2014, the city mayor and state government appointed the stadium to represent the city and the state, and thus came up with Project World Cup 2014. Focused mainly on improving the features and facilities of the stadium, the project will include demolishing the intermediate rings, lowering the pitch, building a new ground, and expanding the upper ring which will then increase the stadium’s capacity to 67, 450.
However, on June 16, 2010, due to the lack of financial guarantees provided by São Paulo City Committee, Morumbi was cut from the stadiums to host any games for World Cup 2014.
New Corinthians Stadium
Because of Morumbi’s failure to meet the deadline the Brazil Soccer Federation and FIFA set to present financial guarantees for its renovations and improvement, the city of São Paulo was driven to propose another stadium for World Cup 2014 (rather than risking losing the potential revenues the event will provide the city). In November 2010, FIFA gave a go signal for the city to build a brand new and state of the art stadium through the financial aid of the Corinthians Football Club.
To be called the Itaquera Stadium, the new stadium will have a capacity of 65,000 people and shall have facilities required for a top modern stadium, such as retracting roof, executive boxes, and under-soil heating. The stadium, aside from holding games for World Cup 2014, will also be the place for the sport event’s opening ceremony.