News: World Cup Natal
«World Cup Brazil.
«World Cup Natal.
»October 2013: High prices of air tickets. The article informs that a Brazilian fan who lives in Natal and is planning to watch all the matches of the Brazilian team during the World Cup will have to spend about R$ 10,000 in air tickets alone (assuming that the team will reach the final, in Maracană); the Federal Government promises to talk to air companies to "avoid abuses".
»July 2013: too many hotels in Natal.
Some of the host cities of the World Cup will certainly face a shortage of hotels during the event (some cities, such as Recife and Rio de Janeiro, already face such shortage, reflected in high prices).
Natal is an exception. Hotel owners expect that the occupation during the World Cup will be about 85%. In the first half of 2013, the average occupation was around 60%, leaving 40% of rooms empty.
»July 2013: some statistics about the Confederations Cup.
The Brazilian Confederation of Shop Owners conducted a survey to assess how much the Confederations Cup increased businesses; this newspaper prepared an infograph with the results.
Few people travelled to watch the games; 85% of the people went to stadiums in the same State of their residence; only 3% of the tickets were purchased by foreigners.
Average daily expenses: R$ 90 (about US$ 45) with food, R$ 150 (US$ 75) with accommodation, R$ 30 with transportation; notice that this seems to be an average across all six cities, and the prices certainly vary between them; it is well known that hotels in Rio are the most expensive in Brazil, while hotels in Fortaleza are amongst the cheapest.
Evaluation of services during the event: 48% considered the public transportation to be bad or very bad; 29% considered airports bad or very bad; 88% considered the stadium good or very good.
This contrast between bad public services and good (expensive) stadiums was one of the main causes of the riots during the Confederations Cup.
»June 2013: 4G technology may not be ready for the World Cup in Natal.
The Federal Government imposed to phone operators the obligation (this was in the bidding contract) to have 4G working in all host cities during the matches of the World Cup.
However, the Federal Government forgot that there are city laws which can delay the instalation of the 4G antennas. In Natal, there are urbanization and environment laws that are making difficult for cell companies to obtain the necessary licenses to install the antennas.
Even if you bring a 4G cell phone to Brazil, it may be non-compatible with the Brazilian network; and in Natal, maybe no 4G technology will be available at all.
»April 2013: After nearly four years, Natal starts urban improvement for the World Cup.
In May 2009, Natal was announced as one of the host cities of the World Cup 2014; like all other host cities, Natal was promised to gain a massive volume of investments, so as to prepare the city to welcome the World Cup visitors.
It was only on April 2013, nearly four years later, that the first of such investments was announced; and there is no doubt that this is THE first investment, as this is what the Mayor said himself: "Finally, better late than never, our city starts the works, after more than two years".
The works in question is the draining of a large area around the Arena das Dunas; the stadium was built in an area formerly taken by a Lagoon, and if the drainage wasn't done, the stadium would become a swamp during the rainy season (which includes June and July, when the World Cup matches will be taking place).
»March 2013: Violence growing in Natal.
Just a few years ago, official statistics showed that Natal was safest capital city in Brazil; today, that is no longer truth.
A few notes about recent episodes of violence in the city: robberies to hotels, bakery, health clinic, the largest shopping center, and several other businesses; invasion of residences; blitzen kidnapping; many murders (including foreign investors living in the city).
And notice: all cited cases of violence took place not in the remote outskirt; they happened in the richest neighbourhoods of Natal: Tirol, Petropolis, Ponta Negra, etc; these are the places which tourists are likely to visit.
Other cities of the World Cup have worse statistics, but in Natal the violence is very near the touristic areas. The only city with a comparable situation is maybe Rio de Janeiro, but Rio is a rich city and will certainly take extra security precautions during the Cup - in Natal, there won't be as much money to invest.