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  • Maracana Suffers Olympic Cutbacks - Rio Roundup


    (ATR) Seventy-five percent of workers at the Maracana Stadium have been laid off ahead of the 2016 Olympics.

    Maracana Stadium in Rio (Getty Images)
    A consortium of companies led by Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht maintains the Maracana, but control of the stadium is expected to pass to the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee this month through the Paralympic Games in September.

    The company said in a statement on Monday that 40 people would be laid off in a cost-cutting move ahead of the Games, “to reduce fixed costs, minimize operating losses and adapt to the impacts of periods of operation outage.”

    Outsourced employees will be hired to continue day-to-day operations of the stadium such as tours and general maintenance.

    No impact on Olympic operations is expected.

    Maracana will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2016 Games, while the adjacent Maracanazinho stadium will host Olympic volleyball.

    Panasonic Illuminates Ceremonies

    The 2016 Olympic ceremonies will be lit up with gear from Panasonic.

    The TOP Sponsor became the official “ceremonies partner” for the 2016 Games and will provide more than 100 lumen projectors and other audio/visual equipment for the opening and closing ceremonies.

    In addition to equipment for the show, Panasonic will offer installation of necessary works and on-site technical consultation for Ceremonies Cariocas, the company in charge of producing the ceremonies.

    According to a release form the company, this is the first time Panasonic has partnered with the opening and closing ceremonies for an Olympic Games. Panasonic has been a TOP Sponsor of the Olympics since 1987.

    Paperless Visas Finalized

    No visas needed here (Getty Images)
    Tourists from Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States will not need to procure a paper visa to enter Brazil from Jun. 1-Sept. 18, 2016.

    In an effort to spur tourism during the Olympic Games, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will waive all paper visa requirements during the specified time period. Visitors will be allowed to stay in Brazil for 90 days sans visa upon arrival in the specified dates.

    The measure was officially passed by the Brazilian government on Dec. 30.

    Minister of Tourism Henrique Eduardo Alves said in a statement, the country expects to receive 20 percent of all Olympic tourists from those four countries, which prompted waiving paper visas.

    “It's a win for this sector to enlarge the promotion of Brazil abroad and, consequently, attract more tourists and resources for our country,” Alves added.

    Written by Aaron Bauer in Rio de Janeiro

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