In late May, the Brazilian Sports Ministry released a report detailing delays in infrastructure work intended for completion before the 2014 World Cup soccer championship. Fans may have to budget extra time to get to matches; 41 of 101 projects, including airport, transit and port improvements, are behind schedule or not yet under way, according to the report.
The soccer-mad host country open the 20th version of the tournament in São Paulo's Arena Corinthians June 12, 2014, and conclude with the championship match on July 13 when the last two teams standing from the field of 32 qualifiers meet at Rio’s Maracanã stadium. In 1950, the last time the country hosted the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) global championship, nearly 200,000 spectators saw Uruguay defeat the host country 2-1 in the finals. As part of negotiations with FIFA, Brazil is spending $500,000 to modernize the nation’s flagship football venue, reducing the capacity to 78,000, moving seats closer to the pitch and improving entrance and exit paths to allow a full house to leave the premises within eight minutes.