ARCHITECTS are hoping to turn derelict stadiums once used to host World Cup matches into a network of social housing for destitute Brazilians.
The Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in capital Brasilia once hosted deafening capacity crowds during the most anticipated competition in the country’s history.
The Mané Garrincha in Brasilia is now a spine-chilling shadow of its former selfCredit: Alamy
The ground was packed to the rafters when Argentina and Belgium faced off in the World Cup group stageCredit: AFP
The arena is a ghost town these daysCredit: Alamy
But today, the 72,000 seat arena stands eerily quiet, sparsely filled for tattoo conventions and culinary events and rarely, if ever, used for football matches.
Re-inaugurated and renovated for $900million in preparation for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2014 FIFA World Cup, the complex also deputises as a bus depot.
And it is still draining funds to this day, costing £132,000 per month to maintain.
However, for the last few years, two architects have rallied to propose the stadium be repurposed to accommodate Brazilians enduring squalid living conditions.
The ‘Casa Futebol‘ project has suggested turning the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha and other vacant domestic arenas into affordable housing.
The project, however, has been met with significant resistance since its inception, a crying shame in a country currently working its way out of a housing deficit.
“The stadiums are so absurdly big, and the housing issues in Brazil are so real,” architect Sylvain Macaux told NBC News.
“This is just a concept and an example of what people could do with these stadiums after the World Cup.
“It’s not the only answer, but we think it has real potential.”
In the run up to his polarised presidential victory, Lula da Silva prioritised lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty before he snatched the keys away from populist Jair Bolsonaro.
“We have to make inequality a priority and not the spending cap,” he told reporters of independent websites.
“Brazil has to put the poor back in the budget and tax the rich,” he said, referring to his Workers Party support for taxing corporate profit and dividends.
Lula, 76, governed Brazil from 2003-2010 and his government’s social programs pulled millions of Brazilians from squalor.
Elsewhere, the once impressive Pontiac Silverdome stadium was left to sit abandoned for years after playing host to some iconic events.
The 82,000 seat venue hosted some legendary sporting events over the years, including the 1987 WrestleMania, the Super Bowl XVI and part of the 1994 Fifa World Cup.
The arena was abuzz with activity during the 2014 World CupCredit: Alamy
The ground is mostly used for conventions and eventsCredit: Alamy