Brazil’s Santos unveil plans for new €71m stadium

March 30 – Brazilian club Santos have revealed more details about plans for their new stadium that will replace the historic Vila Belmiro venue.

With four levels and tributes to Santos greats, the club want to build a state-of-the-art venue with a capacity of 30,000 seats to modernise and drive commercial revenue. At the end of 2022, club members approved plans for a new stadium.

“The project seeks to contribute strongly to its users’ feelings of identity and self-esteem,” explained architect Luiz Volpato. “We combine modernity and technology to revive the club’s remarkable trajectory, in addition to providing support for investors.”

The new ground will hold just above 30,000 seats and will be built on the site of the current Vila Belmiro stadium at a projected cost of €71.5 million. Construction will take 24 months, but no deadline has been yet as to when Santos will inaugurate the new ground. Portuguesa’s Caninde stadium will serve as their home ground during construction.

One of the oldest stadiums in Brazil, the Vila Belmiro was opened in 1916 when Santos defeated Ypiranga 2-1. Ever since the stadium has been Santos’ home ground. In the 1960s it was the backdrop to Santos’ golden epoch with Pele and co dominating international club football.

In the 1970s, 31,662 supporters set a stadium attendance record in a match against Palmeiras, but the current capacity of 16,000 and dated infrastructure has limited revenue for the club. At the start of the year, Pele’s funeral procession was staged at the ground with 240,000 Brazilians as well as president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva paying their respects to the country’s greatest-ever player.

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