Friday, June 13, 2014

They Put A What Where?

Via Screamer, there's word that the pitch at the World Cup stadium in Manaus, Brazil, is in bad shape ahead of Saturday's first game.

Which, of course, once again raises the question "They put a World Cup stadium in Manaus?"

This is nothing against Manaus. A beautiful city, it has been called "The Paris of the Tropics". It is, however, a curious place to put a multi-hundred-million dollar soccer stadium that's going to get used precisely four times, seeing as it's:

A) got so little infrastructure leading to it that all the stadium components had to be shipped in via river
B) in the middle of the dense Amazon rainforest and thus a really bad place to grow grass and/or play professional soccer
C) kind of hard to get to, which is the exact opposite of what you want from a tourist-themed event like the World Cup
D) the place British Race Bannon clone Jeremy Wade uses as the jumping off point for all of his expeditions into the untracked Amazon jungle to catch really large catfish

I can, perhaps, understand the idea of wanting to share World Cup soccer with the entire country, not just the greater Sao Paulo metropolitan area. Making the World Cup a truly national event, as opposed to a regional one that draped itself in a national flag - OK, there's something there, perhaps. But it has to be balanced against the function logistics of the thing, and those start with questions like "can it be done?" and "what's the benefit to doing here versus doing it some place where grass will actually grow on a soccer pitch?"

So, good luck Manaus. You're going to need it, and your grass will, too.
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