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Santos secures São Paulo base with Portuguesa stadium deal

Estádio do Canindé in São Paulo, Brazil

Featured image credit: Lucas De Paschoal Strabko/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A football club Santos has struck an agreement with lower league outfit Portuguesa to utilise its Estádio do Canindé as a base in São Paulo, with a view to expanded usage as it seeks to progress ambitions for a new stadium.

The pact, which also includes the São Paulo Football Federation (FPF), is set to take effect from the 2023 Campeonato Paulista state championship. Santos has committed to playing at least one game per month at the Canindé, which first opened in 1956 and has a current capacity of around 21,000.

“This has always been our commitment, to serve our great public in São Paulo, and with this support from the Federation, and from (FPF) president Reinaldo Bastos, we will have games at least once a month,” said Santos president Andres Rueda.

“We have been discussing this project with (Portuguesa) president (Antonio Carlos) Castanheira for more than a year and it will be a good project for everyone.”

Rueda stated that the Canindé could also be greater utilised if Santos proceeds with plans to replace its Vila Belmiro stadium. It emerged last month that Santos is pressing ahead with plans for a new stadium following a meeting with engineering company WTorre.

The meeting saw WTorre present adjustments to the initial stadium plan due to an increase in the price of raw materials. WTorre is scheduled to make an official presentation of the project to Santos board members in November. If approved, the proposal will be discussed during a meeting of club members.

In August last year, Santos renewed a Memorandum of Understanding with WTorre to explore the possibility of a new 30,000-seat stadium. The club’s main base is currently the 16,000-seat Vila Belmiro in the municipality of Santos.

The club signed an initial MoU with WTorre in September 2020. That agreement was only valid for one year and the latest MoU has seen the two parties continue discussions on a potential new stadium.

Commenting further on the Canindé deal, Rueda added yesterday (Tuesday): “It will be our home, an easily accessible place, which will greatly facilitate the engagement of our fans.”

Castanheira said that the agreement will see improvements made to the Canindé in order to make it suitable to host Santos games. He added: “It is an honour to have Santos as a partner in this unique and special project. 

“We had been talking for a while and today we managed to finalise this agreement thanks to the São Paulo Football Federation, which played a fundamental role. We are going to renovate our changing rooms, pitch, lighting and our numbered seats to be able to receive the Portuguesa fans in this return to the elite of the Campeonato Paulista and to serve the huge fans of Santos in the capital.”