The Estadio Arena das Dunas, literally “Dunes Arena,” is the culmination of a 3-year project in the city of Natal, to serve as one of the playing venues for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The stadium was designed by renowned sports architect Christopher Lee, who says that this is one of his finest pieces of work.
History of Arena das Dunas in Natal
This visual spectacle of a stadium is built on the same ground that the Estadio Joao Claudio de Vasconcelos Machado once stood. Better known as the Machadão, the previous stadium hosted titanic clashes for the major teams in Natal and its sounding areas. ABC, Alecrim and America all enjoyed this venue in their more successful days in the Brazilian top flight. However, in order for Natal to become one of the host cities for 2014 FIFA World Cup, a grander and more modern venue was required.
The result, the home of América Futebol Clube, is a 33 000 seater stadium that will have its capacity increased by a further 10 000 just for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After the tournament, the capacity will be reduced back to its original volume.
The natural environment has played a significant role in multiple facets that involve the stadium. The Natal region is known for its amazing sand dunes that serve as a natural tourist attraction. These dunes gave birth to the name of the stadium, not ending there; the undulating external structure of the stadium mimics these dunes. Lastly, still in relation to the dunes, the spaces between the external structure are to allow an on-shore breeze which is responsible for creating the dunes of Natal.
FIFA World Cup 2014 – Games at the Arena das Dunas
The Estadio das Dunas will play host to four group games including 2006 World Cup champions Italy. The following fixtures will be held at the venue:
- June 13 – Mexico vs. Cameroon,
- June 16 – Ghana vs. USA,
- June 19 – Japan vs. Greece,
- June 24 – Italy vs. Uruguay