Brazilian government keen to avoid “gentrification” of World Cup stadia

Deputy Sports Minister Luis Fernandes has revealed that the Brazilian government is actively working to ensure the country’s staging of the 2014 FIFA World Cup does not result in an unwanted legacy of the “gentrification” of its stadia.

Brazil is building two new stadia from scratch and undertaking redevelopment work at a further 10 venues. There are fears that the significant investment involved could lead to stadium administrators raising prices to generate further income, potentially pricing Brazilian club football’s traditional fanbase out of the matchday market.

“To have socially exclusive stadiums as a result of the World Cup investments is not the legacy we want,” Fernandes told Reuters. “The government is very concerned with this issue and it has to be addressed very seriously. I think we could have a gentrification of the stadiums. Some stadium administrators are quite explicit in saying that, to be economically feasible, they would have to shift the type of attendance at games. It would change from one where what predominates is the so-called D and E class, to one where there will be a heavy predominance of what they call class A and B spectators who will not only buy the tickets but will also consume in the stadium. But if you want to shift the social origin of the spectators so you can have people that can afford to buy other merchandise and food besides tickets, that could be a negative side effect.”

Of Brazil’s 12 World Cup venues, nine are owned by the governments of the respective states and will be managed by private administrators following next year’s tournament. Fernandes added: “Football had and has a very central role in building national identity in Brazil. So we are very concerned with that aspect and will be dealing with it in terms of national and state legislation.”