Ready to play host to some of the world’s biggest footballers during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the structure at the Dunas Arena in Natal has been designed to provide athletes ideal match conditions.
The grass species used is the Bermuda Tifton 419, appropriate for the hot climate of Brazil’s northeast region. In addition, the drainage system will ensure that matches may be played even on very rainy days.
The pitch was laid down on 18 August, using a mechanical process. The grass was planted in a farm in the municipality of Touros (Rio Grande do Norte State) and is internationally certified in relation to its genetic purity. The species is known for its straight, fast growing leaves, which makes for dense pitches, highly resistant to trampling and with quick regeneration in case of damage.
“Following FIFA recommendations, we laid the pitch down in buds. It’s a summer turf, it really likes the sun, ventilation and water. It needs to be cut and composted daily, so that the root grows and the grass sticks", explains Charles Maia, Dunas Arena Director.
Measuring 105 metres long by 68 metre wide, the pitch is approximately 15 metres away from the first row of the stands. Therefore, players will be able to feel the crowd’s reaction closer.
Lighting is another aspect worth mentioning. There are three hundred and six 800 Kwatt floodlights, positioned in such a way as to avoid shadows on the pitch and thus, provide uniform and consistent visibility in the stadium, enabling TV broadcastings using the full HD technology. The arena is equipped with four 750 KVA generators, interconnected to a no-break system, which will be activated if there are any power failures.
The changing rooms were also designed to ensure comfort for the players. There are four changing rooms: One for each team and two for referees (female and male), space for ball catchers and anti-doping. There are 12 showers in each changing room for players and another seven bathtubs per team. Each team will also have a warm-up room, with synthetic grass.
Journalist and press professionals will have 80 positions available to them to cover matches at the stadium. There are two TV booths, a press conference room able to cater for 250 people and a 470m² mixed zone.