The Rio 2016 Games are just three years away…

Olympic Venues

The Arena Group has confirmed a strategic partnership with FAST Engineering and ROHR construction in Brazil to provide temporary infrastructure services to venues.

FAST specialise in project management and ROHR in construction.  

There are suggestions that a number of new contracts including for masterplanning and overlay may be announced shortly.

Operational planning activities have begun with a model venue exercise in June/July, designed to assist the formation of functional teams and create procedures by which all venues will be planned and operated. This is an extended process, of necessity.


Changes at the top

The head of Brazil’s Olympic Public Authority (APO), the organisation responsible for coordinating centrally the country’s efforts, across 3 levels of government, for the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, has resigned. This was amidst a political dispute just two weeks before the International Olympic Committee’s next inspection visit to Rio, scheduled for 1-2 September. Marcio Fortes, head of the APO since July 2011, was reportedly unhappy with his loss of influence in the management processes undertaken by government and its position vis a vis the Sports Ministry.

There are suggestions that Ministry of Sports' Secretary for High Performance Sports, Ricardo Leyser, may be selected for the head position. There are also suggestions that the APO may be scrapped or have its remit changed. There has been almost continuous difficulty between the national government and those of Rio State and the city of Rio de Janeiro, not least fanned by the personality-driven approaches, priorities and prerogatives of the various ministers as well as of Rio State Governor Cabral and Rio Mayor Paes.

The APO’s role is a coordinating one. It is not in charge of the delivery or construction of Olympic projects. It is modeled on London's Olympic Delivery Authority, the ODA, which in turn took its blueprint from  Sydney's Olympic Coordination Authority, the OCA. Fortes was Cities Minister during President Lula’s government, Fortes became head of the APO in July 2011.

It will be interesting to 'what size boot' the IOC Coordination Commission wears when it reviews and reports on Rio's progress during and after its forthcoming visit.


The politics of funding, responsibility and even next year’s election…

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said it was "a shame" that Brazil is hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics because the country lacks a sports policy. "It is a shame that Brazil is hosting the Olympic Games (…) We must handle the legacy of the Olympics in the city," he said in an interview aired in full on the ESPN channel. "It is up to the federal government to create a federal policy."

This sounds like a continuation of some two years of wrangling over who pays for what and by whom the assets will be managed post-event…an ongoing debate between the 3 levels of government. In the interview, Paes said his city will be left with "a legacy" of infrastructure but said it was unclear who would run the sports centres after the Olympics.


Paes took a shot at top Brazilian sports officials who remain in their posts for life, described this as a "scandal", criticised their performance and called for change.

On the topic of FIFA… "they only care about stadiums".  


The latest edition of “Back on the Block”, talking about the business of events, is available at

Eric Winton

Director, New Millennium Business

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