It’s the latest World Cup stadium inaugurated in Brazil and was completed ahead of schedule. Natal’s Arena Das Dunas takes its design inspiration from the beaches of Rio Grande do Norte.
The 42,000 capacity venue (10,000 temporary seats will be installed for the World Cup) was officially unveiled last month at a ceremony attended by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.
The stadium design reflects the topography of the city and region, the beach dunes of the coastline, resulting in 20 petal-like solid modules. The arena was designed by the international firm Populous, the people behind Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, the Emirates Stadium, and London’s Olympic Stadium.
While the World Cup organising committee face pressure to complete some facilities in time, the Arena Das Dunas was finished ahead of schedule.
It has not been without its own controversies, however. Three fans were injured last weekend when shots were fired at America supporters as they left the grounds, while before the stadium’s inauguration in January, police arrested two men who shot at a group of rival fans just a few miles away.
Natal will host four World Cup games this summer: Mexico vs Cameroon, Ghana vs USA, Japan vs Greece, and the meeting of former champions Italy and Uruguay.
Video: AFP News Agency