Rio 2016 – keeping you in touch
Brazil, post-election, is introducing austerity measures in an attempt to shore up its finances and avoid a credit rating downgrade. The 2015 budget for the military police in the state of Rio de Janeiro has been cut by 26%, according to Brazilian daily O Globo.
President Dilma Rousseff’s decision to appoint George Hilton as Sports Minister was not widely supported since he comes with no experience in the area.
The Rio Municipal Government, which is responsible for construction, provided an update on progress and said work would “enter the final straight in 2015”, with the delivery of the first new venues and the staging of more than 20 test events. The Mayor of Rio made similar statements, noting that construction of the stands at the tennis venue is almost finished and the roof of Carioca Arena 3, which will host taekwondo, fencing and paralympic judo, is being installed.
70% of the underground infrastructure — fibre optic network, lighting, drainage, sanitation — is in place. However, as many as 25% of contracts, including some infrastructure ones, are yet to be put to market. It'll be a rush.
While a good number of hotels are being built, it is reported that one of the world's 10 biggest cruise ships, the 145,000 tonne Norwegian Getaway, will be docked in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games, supplementing the city's hotel capacity with about 4000 beds.
The 100 day 12,000km torch relay is being modelled on the format adopted by London 2012 in the UK. Coca Cola, Nissan and Bradesco Bank have gained prestige relay sponsor spots, and maybe Samsung will yet appear – they have a long torch relay history.
Tickets: Residents of Brazil will be able to apply to buy tickets in two draws, first in March 2015 and then in July 2015. For non-residents of Brazil, each country will have an authorised ticket reseller selected by its National Olympic Committee and Rio 2016. The list of resellers will be available at www.rio2016.com/tickets in March 2015, and will be sent to those who register for alerts. For full details of the ticket sales process, visit www.rio2016.com/tickets . Pricing has been set to be fairly accessible and inclusive. To ensure that all sections of Brazilian society will be able to attend the Games, more than half of the tickets (3.8 million) will be available for R$70 (about US$27) or less, and the cheapest tickets will be R$40 (about US$15). CTS Eventim, a German-based ticket selling company, was appointed Ticketing Services Provider for both the Olympics and Paralympics last September. Heavy fines are being threatened for reselling of tickets outside the official channels, as occurred in Brazil for the FIFA World Cup.