Stadiums Not The Answer in Brazil

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Next week, FIFA proudly launches the World Cup in Brazil. In a mere 2 years, the country will host the Olympics. These worldwide events are under scrutiny from some of Brazil’s more outspoken citizens. The brave few willing to speak up against the international jock cult are demanding education, jobs, security, and personal liberty over soccer.

And I agree with them.

Carla Dauden is one such revolutionary, infiltrating social media with her views on the matter. Her #StopTheBall campaign is taking on a life of its own, reaching people all over the world with what the World Cup and Olympics really mean for Brazil.

Dauden makes a good argument, saying that perhaps stadiums used for a month-long event might not be the best use of tax payers’ money, especially when 72% of those tax payers are dissatisfied with the current state of their country, according to a poll performed by Pew Research Centre.

Not only is the World Cup sucking funds from Brazil’s people, the 2016 Olympics are already taking over the country’s day-to-day life. Neighborhoods are being uprooted to build even more stadiums than those built for the World Cup, and going along with the neighborhoods are the people living in them.

According to Dauden, these people are getting no compensation for having their homes rezoned as Olympic grounds. In a country that already struggles with poverty and unemployment, how is throwing people out on the street going to help?

In truth, the majority of profits from these events is pumped out of the country to international corporations and the private sector.
The country officials claim that these huge sports events will boost Brazil’s economy, giving the country more jobs and even more money. In truth, the majority of profits from these events is pumped out of the country to international corporations and the private sector. The only upside for Brazilians is that their food, beverage, and hospitality industries will have a killer few weeks…and then what? What happens when the Olympics and World Cup are over, when the last news van has packed up, and the final tourist boards his plane? Brazil is left with a lot of empty stadiums that they cannot afford to maintain — not that there would be a reason to maintain them, as no one would be using them.

The real part of Brazil that will thrive from these big sporting fests is the ugliest part of Brazil: the drug cartels. Currently ruling the impoverished favelas of Brazil’s metropolitan areas, the drug lords will profit more than any other Brazilian business from the influx of athletic spectators and enthusiasts. When people watch sports, they have parties. When people have parties, they have drugs. When people have drugs in Brazil, they pump cash into a grotesque underbelly that is poisoning the country from the bottom up.

In a place looking to give its citizens better jobs, better homes, better security, and better lives, are two huge worldwide sporting events a leg-up or a step back? Should Brazil’s tax dollars be going into stadiums and hotels that will be used for a few short months, only then to become abandoned cemeteries of a short-lived glory? Or should the tax dollars be going toward helping the people that pay them?

I am not against the World Cup or the Olympics. I am a huge fan of both. However, I don’t think a country should put sporting spectacles over the needs of their people.

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Anna Turner

Anna is a freelance writer/producer based out of San Francisco. Her writing covers several genres, but her passion lies in humor, entertainment, education and culture.

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