Jungle fever: Manaus and 2014 World Cup

Jungle fever: Manaus and 2014 World Cup

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Isolated by the major rainforest on planet, Manaus is a Brazilian city of about two million inhabitants, chosen in a contradictory and controversial process since its inception as one of 2014 World Cup venues. The paper examines this process, especially aspects related to design and construction of the main sport facility required by the event – the Amazon Arena – as well as checking further use and evaluation of project impacts on Manaus society.
Contradictions of city's bid are highlighted by government effort to justify the heavy disbursement of financial resources, needed to make a city like Manaus host of such global mega-event: exaggeratedly unequal in social terms, quite apart from other Brazilian metropolitan areas in terms of geography and infrastructure, without a relevant representation in Brazil’s sports landscape that, among others, withstand this huge movement. To minimize these contradictions and justify such investment to society, direct benefits were attributed to the stadium construction like physical activity popularization, encouraging new sports talents and inclusion of Manaus in the major musical and sports events route, that lie upon this type of equipment; and indirect, such as real estate appreciation and tourist icon creation. It is from these compromises that the paper proposes to analyze changes caused by the construction of the stadium, with special attention to space occupation and use by citizens in the years following the event.
Amazon Arena, as well as the political and economic “fever” that created around it, is an eloquent case study of contradictions surrounding the World Cup, with the event itself examined in this process. Based in archives and testimonies of stakeholders of stadium’s construction, this paper aims to further detail the panorama of Brazilian response to mega sports events and their consequences, a key point for debate and understanding of those initiatives when carried out in underdeveloped countries.

Corresponding Author

Guilherme Maia

University of Coimbra

Author #1:

Guilherme Maia

University of Coimbra

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Preferred Track

9. The Syndrome of Grand Projects: contamination processes between North-South, West-East, Global-Local

Second Preferred Track

7. Urban competitiveness and social challenges

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