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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Electricity Turned Off At Rio's Maracanã Stadium After Olympic Organizers Can't Pay Bill

Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty
Photo: Buda Mendes/Getty

Two weeks ago we wrote about the decaying state of Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic facilities and noted that the Maracanã stadium, despite missing seats and dealing with a mold problem, was still hosting club soccer. The stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, and it’s one of the most famous stadiums in the world. At the time, it appears that there was a legitimate “chance things [would] be fixed.” Sadly, nah, the power’s out.

The utility company responsible for lighting the Maracanã pulled the plug last week over some $940,000 in unpaid bills (that’s 3 million Brazilian Reals). Oderbrecht, a local construction company, is on the hook for 43.6 percent of the bill, while the Rio Olympic committee is responsible for the rest. Oderbrecht reportedly asked the state to take over, but they can’t on account of their ongoing financial state of emergency.

A Rio Olympics spokesman gave a mealy-mouthed explanation for the cutoff:

Mario Andrada, a spokesman for Rio organizers, said: “Light (the power company) and us, we have a separate deal. They owe us money as a sponsor, and we owe them money for energy during the games.”

Andrada said the organizers had reached an agreement with Light and were in the process “of presenting the documents.”


If officials need to unwind, they can head to the Olympic golf course, which is in utter disrepair because nobody is using it.

Staff writer, Deadspin

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