The Road Show in Recife set the tone for the forthcoming debates promoted by the 2014 Portal and the Trade Union for Architecture and Engineering (Sindicato da Arquitetura e Engenharia - Sinaenco) in the cities to host the matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. The event held last Thursday (March 17th) at the Atlante Plaza Hotel brought together more than 300 participants and also had the presence of representatives of the institutions involved with the actions aimed at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.
The World Cup stadium in Recife was one of the issues most talked about at the meeting. The President of the Specific Purpose Society (Sociedade Propósito Específico - SPE) Arena Pernambuco, Marcos Lessa, presented the concept of a Smart Stadium, that will be adopted in this new stadium, which will be multipurpose and will host not only soccer matches as several other events.
The consortium also plans to expand this concept to that of a Smart City, transforming the World Cup City (Cidade da Copa) which is to be constructed in the municipality of São Lourenço da Mata (in Greater Recife) into the first entertainment city in Brazil, also including a shopping center, a supermarket, hotels, a University campus, commercial and residential buildings, and Government equipment, all of this with the Arena Pernambuco as the anchor.
“The initial forecast was for a timid investment, but we are now raising our estimates as we firmly believe in the project”, Mr. Lessa said.
Talking about investments, the Special Secretary for the 2014 World Cup now in office, Sílvio Bompastor, remembered that so far the financing lines from the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) for the construction of the new Arena have not yet been authorized, but the consortium has pressed on with the work, following the schedule of the work, which is now in the foundations phase, using their own capital.
Mr. Bompastor said that Recife will also be a candidate to host the Confederations Cup. He said that activities to improve the road infrastructure, ports and airports are well advanced in Pernambuco.
In the security area, the State Government hopes to receive R$ 5 million from the Federal Government. “The security activities consider the possibility of a terrorist attack”, says Mr. Bompastor. In his opinion, by the end of March there will be the establishment of a responsibility matrix for security, so that the activities may start.
The urban mobility projects that will be executed by the World Cup have been addressed by the President of the consortium known as Grande Recife Consórcio, Manoel Marinho. As he sees it, the North-South, East-West and North Avenue corridors will have their studies completed by the end of this month, with the definition of the type of transport to be implemented on these corridors, so that the bidding process may then start.
The number of terminals of the Integrated Structural System (Sistema Estrutural Integrado - SEI), which makes several routes available by paying only one fare, will be expanded. At present, there are 13 terminals operating in the Greater Recife metropolitan area.
According to Mr. Marinho, by the end of 2011 there will be the construction of seven new terminals, and two will be expanded. The Cosme e Damião Terminal, which will make access to the Arena Pernambuco easier, will have the capacity to handle 40 thousand passengers a day.
“By the time of the Confederations Cup, we hope to have all the corridors and terminals completed, so the population can be served better”.
Brazil should receive some 600 thousand foreign tourists during the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. Having gone eight years without passing the level of six million tourists, Recife hopes to attract part of this public.
In the opinion of the President of the Brazilian Association of the Hotel Industry, Pernambuco Chapter (Associação Brasileira da Indústria de Hotéis de Pernambuco – ABIH-PE), José Otávio Meira Lins, the city is now prepared to welcome these visitors. In his opinion, there are currently some 16 thousand hotel beds in Recife.
With the construction of new hotels by 2014, Pernambuco will have an additional 3,900 rooms with some 10,000 new beds. As most of Recife’s hotels date from the 1990s, more than four thousand hotel rooms are now being refurbished in the city.
According to the President of ABIH-PE, most of the tourists that go to watch a World Cup do not stay in luxury hotels, and 87% of the tourists that went to South Africa visited the country for the first time. “We are firmly focused on the capture of a tourist who will return to Brazil after the World Cup”.
The President of Sinaenco in Pernambuco, Abel Oliveira, stressed the importance of planning for the carrying out of the infrastructure work by 2014. “It is preferable to spend a lot of time with planning rather than carry out work with losses”. In Mr. Oliveira’s opinion, there is a need to think beyond the projects and works, thinking of issues such as the sustainability thereof.
The carrying out of the schedule for the execution of the work was remembered at the meeting by the Marketing Director of the 2014 Portal, Rodrigo Prada. “We cannot repeat the mistakes of the Pan-American Games, when the work was delivered on the eve of the competition.”
Recife was the first Brazilian city to host the 2014 Road Show. The debates about infrastructure for the World Cup will pass through all the host cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. The next such meeting will be held in Manaus on the 27th.