Plans for a new $407m stadium project have been unveiled in the Colombian city of Barranquila.
Arena Del Rio will have a capacity of 55,000 and be the only roofed stadium in Latin America. It will host sports events and concerts and feature a fully retractable mobile lawn.
The development, to be built on a 31-hectare site on the banks of the Magdalena River, will also include three auditoriums, a club with 17 event salons, and a semi Olympic pool. Additional complex attractions will include a five-star hotel, virtual reality park, 100 apartments, bars, restaurants, and a four-port marina.
The project is being developed by Two Way Stadiums, Universal Music Group-backed UMUSIC Hotels, Dakia U-Ventures and AECOM, a leader in smart city design and stadium innovation.
The project will be funded by Colombian and foreign private capital, and is set to have an investment impact in the area of $1.25bn. Officials said Arena Del Rio will generate 264,460 jobs — representing approximately 16% of Barranquilla’s population — which are divided into 34,540 direct and 229,920 indirect.
Reports suggest Arena Del Rio could become the new home of the Colombian national football team and Junior de Barranquilla, the current Colombian club football champions.
“This urban complex, which will be active 365 days a year, will turn the Caribbean coast into a meeting point for national and international tourism,” a project spokesperson said in a statement. “Not just Barranquilla and the region, but all of Colombia, as a key driver of development. Here, you can enjoy the most wonderful shows that have ever happened in Latin America.”
Colombia’s President, Ivan Duque, was one of the guests at the launch of the project in Barranquilla, as were the heads of the Ministries of Culture and Sports.
Arena Del Rio is the first mega-investment that could benefit from the Economic Growth Law, promoted by the Government and approved last December, which is also part of the orange economy projects that President Duque proposed in his government plan.
Robert Lavia, chairman of Dakia U-Ventures, said: “Every destination holds a great history just waiting to be told through cultural and music heritage.
“Through this new concept, we will both help people discover new ways to channel their love of music and the arts and help empower communities worldwide through cultural, inspiring, creative, and conscious collaboration. And we are thrilled to work together with Universal Music Group, who shares our vision and passion about the powerful role of culture and music in every community we touch.”
Images: Arena Del Rio