On a visit to construction works at the Arena das Dunas in Natal on Tuesday (April 24) the Minister of Sports, Aldo Rebelo, emphasized that World Cup stadiums have multi-purpose features that will assist in the development of Brazilian State capitals.
"All the stadiums are being built by private consortia, which naturally have an interest in building stadiums that are not solely for the World Cup. Palmeiras and Grêmio (football teams) are building stadiums that are not just for the World Cup, they are for the use of the clubs and their cities. The construction of stadiums in Brazil is not just for the tournament. It is for the development of the country, football and public services. Cities have an ever-increasing demand for more convention centers and entertainment venue", said Rebelo.
According to the Rio Grande do Norte World Cup Secretariat, Secopa, construction works on the Arena das Dunas are 22% complete, and the current phase in the schedule is completing the foundations and commencing work on the superstructure. Earthworks, drainage and removal of an electrical grid are all complete. The demolition of the Machadinho gymnasium and the old Machadão stadium were completed in late November 2011, a month ahead of schedule. There are currently 630 workers at the site, operating in two shifts.
According to Dimitri Torres, the consortium has been able to bring some phases forward. "We have managed to gain time, especially with the superstructure. The total planned for March 30 was 21.35%, and we have completed 22.01%", he said. The stadium now has 2,505 pilings, 74 support pillars, 219 foundation blocks and 10 retaining walls completed. The City Mayor, Micarla Sousa, noted that infrastructure has moved forward since the last visit by the Minister. "This is the most complicated part and it takes longer. When this phase is completed, the public will see the stadium taking shape" she said.
According to the construction company, foundations should be complete in the first half of the year. It is also planned to start construction of the main structure during this period. The arena will have capacity for 45,000 spectators and will host four World Cup matches, all in the first phase of the tournament. It is expected that construction works will be completed in December 2013. Total overall investment is R$ 417 million according to Federal Government transparency data.