A lot of people didn’t think World Cup games should be held in Manaus.
The Amazonian city is 1,700 miles from Sao Paulo and surrounded by 2.1 million square miles of rain forest.
National team coaches have complained about the oppressive heat and and humidity. Brazilians have complained about the exorbitant cost of building a soccer arena in the middle of the jungle — a city so remote that it took a 20-day boat voyage to deliver the steel to build the 42,000-seat stadium.
As these great photos from Reuters, Getty, and the AP show, Manaus is gorgeous (it sits on the banks of the Rio Negro), large (the 7th-biggest city in Brazil), and industrial (it’s free port is a hub of trade).
But given the construction costs, the travel headaches, and the playing conditions, it’s also a head-scratching choice for a World Cup host city.
The Arena Amazonia, which will host the USA-Portugal World Cup game, two days before it opened in March.
In 2013, police evicted 5,000 Amazon Indians from an area of rainforest near the city, drawing protests.
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