Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Danger


March 16, 2010

The 2016 Summer Games slated to be held in Rio de Janeiro could be in danger.

A bill approved recently by Brazil's lower house of congress would strip the city and state of Rio de Janeiro of $4 billion — money needed to finance Olympic-related projects — the Brazilian Olympic Committee warns.

According to Bloomberg's BusinessWeek, Brazil is set to pass a measure giving cities and states that don't produce oil "a bigger stake of the revenue from crude production." Rio de Janeiro is an oil-rich state, meaning that if the bill passes, they would receive lower royalties.

Such a measure would compromise the state's ability to prepare infrastructure and cause annual losses of $4.1 billion, according to Rio de Janeiro state governor Sergio Cabral, who called the proposed measure a "lynching."

The Games, which are set to be hosted for the first time by a South American country, are projected to provide $51.1 billion into Brazil's economy through 2027 according to a study by a Sao Paulo business school for the Ministry of Sports. The Games will also add 120,000 jobs a year through 2016.

To get such a benefit, however, the Games must first be held in the city. To accommodate the influx of visitors, Rio must improve airports and more than double its number of hotel rooms from about 22,000 to more than 48,000.

According to The Associated Press, president Luiz Inacio da Silva will
veto the bill unless changes are made to ensure Rio can host the Games. The bill is currently awaiting a vote in Brazil's senate.

Rio beat out Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo for the honor of hosting the 2016 Games.

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