Brazil's stage for the opening match the 2014 World Cup finally appears to be nearing completion after more than two years of construction mired by financing concerns and industrial disputes.

Sao Paulo, host city for the opening of soccer's greatest tournament, first started construction of its new Itaquerao stadium in May of 2011. Years on, recent estimates of the stadium put its cost at 858 million reais ($388 million).

With a capacity of 68,000 football fans, Itaquerao will host five World Cup matches including a semi-final in addition to the competition's inaugural match.

Once the World Cup is over, Itaquerao will function as the home stadium to popular national team Corinthians.

Road work around Itaquerao is in full swing as the city tries to get ready for what could be an unprecedented number of visitors.

Itaquerao is about 16 km (10 miles) from downtown, and even further from the wealthier western half of Sao Paulo. Journeys from downtown to the international airport - which is relatively close - often take two hours or more.

 

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