Monday, October 02, 2006

2010 World Cup stadium cost more then triple

The total cost to build five new stadiums and the renovation five others has jumped from $300 million US to $1.085 billion. Last year the government set aside $390 million to cover the cost of the improvements, but will now need to increase funding drastically.

The increase is the result of "more detailed work, design and planning for the stadiums."

Of the $1.105 billion needed, $975 million will go to construction work, $75.65 million is needed for security around the stadiums and $25.35 million will be used for overlay equipment, including broadcast facilities.

In addition, the organizing committee says the South African government is ready to pass legislation that will make these funds available starting October 24th, thus allowing for the appointment of contractors by the end of the year and a start of construction in the new year.

Recently, FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced he was going to South Africa to get things moving. With his trip coming soon, maybe by the end of this month, one has to wonder if Blatter has not indirectly let it be known that if work doesn't begin soon, the finals will move.

Also, one has to wonder if South Africa can afford this increase. The country's total budget for 2005 was just over $70 billion, so spending $1.105 billion, even over a three-year building period, is a considerable sum. Keep in mind that this new figure does not included needed improvements to the country's airports, roads and rail lines or security costs needed in areas not near the stadium.

The next few months should decide if the finals stay in South Africa or if they go elsewhere.

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