At a ceremony held last Friday and attended by over 400 people, the Governor of Rio Grande do Norte, Rosalba Ciarlini, signed a contract with the company that has been invited to build the Estadio das Dunas in the city of Natal, one of the venues of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Among those at the event, during which Governor Ciarlini also ordered work on the stadium to begin, were politicians, business leaders and representatives of the local football community.

The Estadio das Dunas will be built on the site of the old Estadio Machadao, and the design of the modern, new stadium takes its inspiration from the famous dunes on Natal’s coastline. The final steps have been taken prior to the issue of the construction permit, with building work due to begin in a matter of weeks.

Also present at the ceremony was the Venues Liaison Manager of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Local Organising Committee, Fabio Starling, who was attending on behalf of LOC President, Ricardo Teixeira, another sign of the general confidence in the work being carried out by the managers responsible for staging Brazil 2014 matches in Natal.

“We came here to give our support to the people here in Natal,” said Starling. “We’ve worked together and taken the right steps to make the Estadio das Dunas project a reality. Our doors will remain open for anything they need and we would like to restate our firm belief that Natal will do its job and stage a fantastic FIFA World Cup.”

We’ve worked together and taken the right steps to make the Estadio das Dunas project a reality.

Fabio Starling, Venues Liaison Manager of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Local Organising Committee

The Mayor of Natal, Micarla de Souza, spoke not without emotion of the significance of welcoming Brazil 2014 to the capital of Rio Grande do Norte: “Nearly a million people live in Natal and they can now see that the FIFA World Cup is really happening and is going to transform our city. This is a story of change we are creating here. This is not just about Natal hosting the World Cup and getting known throughout the world. Some things won’t go when the World Cup goes. There’s a legacy for our city, and when it’s over the viaducts will still be here, along with the transport and sanitation infrastructures, and the languages that workers will learn and the jobs it will create. We’re doing all that for ourselves, for everyone.”

For her part, Governor Ciarlini thanked FIFA for the confidence they have shown in recognising the city’s potential as a Brazil 2014 venue.

“FIFA had faith in Natal and chose us as one of the venues for the World Cup,” she said. “And it has given us the even greater opportunity to increase the visibility and the profile of Natal. The people of this city want the FIFA World Cup here, and we now have a deadline to meet. In giving this project the go-ahead, all I am doing is discharging my duty.”