Brazil spent $4 billion to build or renovate 12 stadiums in preparation for the 2014 World Cup, a move that, like the rest of the country's soccer spending spree, generated more jeers than cheers. While a few of these stadiums will get some action during the 2016 Summer Olympics, proposals are being pushed forward to turn others into housing for the poor. There are rumors that a stadium in the Amazon city of Manaus could be turned into a prison.
But another more immediate -- and obvious -- idea is already in play: Use this extensive network of soccer stadiums as concert venues.
"Brazil now has a very good stadium infrastructure and this will have a positive impact on the live music business here," says Brazilian promoter Luiz Oscar Niemeyer, who, through his company Planmusic Entertainment, has presented tours by artists including Stone Temple Pilots, The Rolling Stones, Miley Cyrus, and Rihanna in Brazil. "Secondary markets like Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Fortaleza, Brasilia, Recife, Salvador and Curitiba are already being offered to international acts. Some concerts have already happened in these new stadiums in regions where big concerts didn't take place before."
Niemeyer cites sold-out shows by Elton John and Beyonce in Belo Horizonte and Brasilia as proof that a massive audience lies waiting in cities other than well-traveled urban centers Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, with the potential to increase raise the ceiling of the already lucrative live music market in Brazil, valued at a reported $5.5 billion.