While fans from around the world get ready to start requesting their tickets for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, a delegation from FIFA, the LOC (Local Organising Committee) and the Federal Government joined forces on Monday with the authorities in Sao Paulo to take a closer look at how work has evolved at the Arena de Sao Paulo – the venue of the Opening Match on 12 June 2014.

FIFA Secretary-General Jérôme Valcke, Brazil’s Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo, members of the LOC Board Bebeto and Ronaldo, and others were impressed with the stadium's state of readiness, and took part in a symbolic handing-out of tickets to workers responsible for the construction of the arena who will get the fruits of their labours shine during a FIFA World Cup game.

Improvements to transport
As well as progress at the Arena de Sao Paulo, the visit to the Paulista capital also served as a chance for the delegation to see up-close how various urban mobility projects are taking shape in the area around the stadium, in the district of Itaquera.

Municipal and state authorities are investing in five main projects: two new avenues; a tunnel opposite the metro and train station; adjustments to the intersection of two roads (Avenida Miguel Inacio Curi and Avenida Engenheiro Adervan Machado), as well as new access routes at the junction of two other roads (Avenida Jose Pinheiro Borges and Avenida Jacu-Pessego). The total investment planned is around R$430m (US$178m).

Aside from these road projects, the East Zone – the city's most populated area with over 4.5 million residents – will benefit from modernisation work to Metro Line 3 and CPTM (metropolitan train) Line 11. The two lines, which run to the Arena de Sao Paulo stadium, will have waiting times for trains reduced and capacity increased from 94,000 to 114,000 passengers per hour.

During the tournament, CPTM Line 11 (Coral line) will operate a FIFA World Cup Express service: a direct, non-stopping train connecting Luz station, in the city centre, to Corinthians-Itaquera station in just 19 minutes. Between 2011 and 2014, the Sao Paulo state government's Secretary of Metropolitan Transport is set to invest around R$2.5b (just over US$1b) in Metro Line 3 and CPTM Line 11.