World Cup stadium reaches halfway stage

Curitiba, Dec 31: The Arena da Baixada, in the southern state of Curitiba, is 50 percent complete as 2012 draws to a close.

After a turbulent year, which saw several delays to building progress, the stadium will not be ready by its original deadline of March 2013. Fortunately, Curitiba will play no part in the FIFA Confederations Cup and the arena should be finished towards the end of next year, reports Xinhua.

Building work began in January and good progress was being made until lack of financial resources hindered the project. In April, Atletico Paranaense football club announced they had secured a 131 million reais loan from the Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES) which the bank refuted.

In the five months from March until August building work progressed just two percent and the likelihood of the stadium being ready in time was cast into doubt. Only in November was a loan from BNDES finally approved, meaning construction could finally continue uninterrupted again.

When finished, the Arena da Baixada will have a capacity of 43,000. The stadium will also be used to host live shows, with the possibility of using temporary seating areas to increase the holding space to 60,000.

Curitiba will host four games during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, all during the initial group stages.

IANS