Maracana Stadium to be ‘privatised’ ahead of Brazil 2014 World Cup

May 10, 2013

Brazil’s infamous football stadium, sick the Maracana, has been offered to a consortium of private companies who would gain the rights to manage the stadium for the next 35 years.

The authorities in Rio de Janeiro made the move despite campaigners protesting against the ‘privatisation’ of the stadium after three years of renovations.

Protestors gathered outside the Rio governor’s palace on Thursday to express their discontent at taking away the Maracana from public hands.

Rio governor Sergio Cabral said the bidding process “has been approved by the legal authorities” and was “perfectly legal”.

Among the winning bidders is Eike Batista, Brazils’ richest man and his company IMX, along with Odebrecht and AEG.

Brazilian building company OAS, French company Lagarde and Stadion Amsterdam made up the defeated bid, who said they would contest the decision.

The stadium will be used for the final of Brazil 2014 and the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics.

It has been under construction since Brazil won the rights to host the 2014 World Cup, with the seating capacity reducing down to 78,000.