By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The seven games to be held in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium during the upcoming FIFA World Cup will further impact businesses and residents in the area. During the games, street closures, parking bans, rerouting of bus lines and restrictions on sales of alcohol are planned.
Credentials were recently issued by the city to a reported 1,600 residents in the vicinity of the stadium. These allow the residents to enter and travel within that area of the city, which will be heavily monitored during the games.
During the seven matches to be held in Maracanã, the city’s train and subway systems will be given priority in terms of transport. Various street closures will begin six hours before each match, and parking bans in various areas will also restrict movements in the surrounding neighborhoods during the games.
“I will not have class so I will not be here,” Ana Carolina, a twenty-one-year-old student told Agência Brasil, adding; “but generally games days are complicated because buses can not move, it is difficult to get around, leaving or entering the neighborhood.”
Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to attend the games in Rio and the city recently announced an official holiday schedule of half-day holidays on June 18th, 25th and a full holiday on July 4th.
Located in the city’s Zona Norte (North Zone), the area surrounding Maracanã stadium is home to thousands of Rio residents. Three-year-long renovations of the stadium, that were just recently completed, and construction of temporary structures for the World Cup had already caused traffic disruptions and had triggered noise complaints in the region.
Neighborhood bars and restaurants will also be impacted by the games. According to FIFA regulations, establishments within a reported one to two kilometer radius of the stadium can not sell alcohol during the games.
“I think it’s a shame,” João Sales Pontes of Bar e Lanchonete dos Esportes located in front of Maracanã stadium told Agência Brasil. “They sold Rio de Janeiro to FIFA. Our loss will be total, because who is going to come to a bar if not to consume alcohol, especially on game day? How do I explain to the customers that they can’t drink here, but in the stadium they can?”
Read more (in Portuguese).
* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.