SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Wire stadium fences were being unfolded, new X-ray security machines were being unpacked at entrances and clouds of dust billowed across roads leading to the World Cup venue.
There appeared to be a desperate sense of urgency among construction workers as Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador was being prepared to host a Group B game on Friday, a rematch of Spain's victory over the Netherlands in the 2010 final.
The work in progress on Thursday suggested that everything might not be ready in time.
"That is the Brazilian style," says Maria Flavio, a volunteer working at a media gate. "We leave everything for the last moment."
Salvador, Brazil's third-largest city after Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, will host six World Cup matches at the 52,000-capacity stadium which was one of the venues used in last year's Confederations Cup.
The stadium's construction was plagued by delays, and a small part of its roof collapsed last year following heavy rain less than three weeks before the World Cup warm-up tournament.