Maracana stadium falls into further disrepair after power shut off

Associated Press
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Iconic Brazilian soccer stadium Estadio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro has reached a new level of disrepair after its power was shut off, according to a statement by Brazilian power company Light.

“Light cut the power to the Maracana this morning,” the statement said. “The bills are behind since October.”

According to a report by Reuters, the stadium is nearly $1 million behind on bills, with $500,000 of that owed by the Rio Olympics organizers and the other half coming from the stadium’s ownership consortium. Photos from earlier in January show the field riddled with dead grass, stray cats roaming the property, and missing chairs in the stands.

Construction company Odebrecht which heads the Maracanã ownership consortium has deflected responsibility of the payments to the Rio government. Meanwhile, the government has declared a “financial calamity,” unable to pay important state workers such as teachers, medical personnel, and pension payments.

The Maracanaã was built in 1950 and has hosted two World Cup finals, as well as being the site for numerous Brazilian league matches throughout the years. It is the largest stadium in Brazil, and the second-largest in South America.