Eight months after the World Cup, we are starting to see the true legacy of the stadia erected for the showpiece tournament.
For Brasilia, the cost of being a host city at Brazil 2014 provoked protest at the time, and now the newly-elected governor of Distrito Federal Rodrigo Rollemberg is left to pick up the bill.
The Estadio Mané Garrincha (the National Stadium) was second only to Wembley as the world’s most expensive stadium when it was constructed at the cost of R$1.7 billion (£350 million), but former Brazilian footballer and current politician Romário has announced on his Facebook page that it will be converted into offices.
‘In order to reduce costs, Governor Rollemberg is going to house three government departments currently operating in rented buildings,’ Romário wrote on his official page. ‘Forty vacant rooms in the arena will be occupied by administrative organisations. This alternative will save R$10.5 million per year in rent.’
Maintenance of the stadium was costing taxpayers R$600,000 per month, and Romario lamented that the nation is now facing the problems foreseen before a World Cup ball was kicked.
‘We are now paying the cost of erecting stadia in many cities without tradition in football and without a plan after the World Cup. And in the case of the Mané Garrincha, the population is acutely paying the price.
‘[The decision to set up offices] was a good alternative, but far from ideal. A stadium should be kept for sporting purposes. Nevertheless, I hope that other governors also find solutions to reduce the damage caused to the public.’
The Estadio Mané Garrincha, which has not been filled to its 72,000 capacity since Brazil were beaten 3-0 by the Netherlands in the third/fourth-place play-off last July, has been used predominantly as a bus depot in the interim, with only two friendlies being held there in 2015.