Curitiba Remains FIFA World Cup Venue Despite Stadium Delays (Photo)


It might not look like it now, but the Arena da Baixada will be ready in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. At least that’s what the powers that be promised Tuesday.

Construction delays at the arena in Curitiba, Brazil, have threatened its status as a World Cup venue. Last month, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke told local organizers that Curitiba could be dropped as a host city if it did not speed up renovation of the 100-year-old facility.

On Tuesday, Valcke announced he was happy with Curitiba’s recent progress and that Arena da Baixada would be one of the venues.

The Arena da Baixada was one of six (of 12) venues to miss FIFA’s original Dec. 31 completion deadline. FIFA granted some venues a reprieve — giving cities until April 15 — but construction of the Arena da Baixada likely will run until mid-May, according to the BBC. Four other venues are still under construction.

Finances are a primary reason for the delays. The stadium is owned by the local club, Atletico Paranaense, as opposed to the city itself. Atletico Paranaense has been loath to pay its share of the construction costs because it fears it would not see a return on its investment from domestic games alone, the BBC reports.

The parties have now reached an agreement, and at least 1,500 workers will busy themselves until construction is complete.

The 42,500-seat stadium will host four World Cup games, starting on June 16 when Iran takes on Nigeria. No knockout-round games will take place in the southern Brazilian city.

See the in-progress Arena da Baixada below.

Arena da Baixada - Large

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Photo via Twitter/@folha_com

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