On Thursday, the 2014 World Cup will officially kick off in Brazil, marking a second phase in griping about the event — namely, how expensive everything is in the already uber-expensive (see: $35 pizza, $100 risotto) and Rio de Janeiro.
A Brazilian developer even launched an app — for locals — which allows users to compare prices of nearby goods. Ju$to creator Pedro Almeido told the Guardian that "just like London, we are having a housing bubble... and that's putting a lot of pressure on prices across the board, especially food and services." Now, he sees the app as a tool for tourists as well: "During the World Cup, tourists will be coming here in droves and definitely won't be able to navigate where to go, or where to eat because of the language barrier. The price surge this year is bigger than in previous years."
To be sure, the Brazilian economy is taking a very, very large hit by hosting the event. South Africa, where the 2010 World Cup was held, is still feeling the effects of the costly game. The country spent roughly $3.9 billion overall, including on state-of-the-art stadiums that remain largely unused and, according to the Globe and Mail, continue to bleed money:
The occasional Justin Bieber or Bon Jovi concert – along with the $4 tours for a few hundred visitors per week – is not nearly enough to cover [one stadium's] operating costs. The 55,000-seat stadium is losing an estimated $6-million to $10-million (U.S.) annually. Some residents have even suggested that it should be demolished to save money.