Campeonato Brasileiro Série A football club Santos has officially fired the starting gun on the development of its new Arena Vila Belmiro through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of the stadium with WTorre.
The agreement is another stage in what is a developing partnership, allowing for the beginning of processes to regulate the project and raise funds for the works.
With the signing of the MoU, the approval phase with public bodies begins, as well as the raising of funds through pre-sales of memberships and sponsorships. Once started, construction is expected to take between 24 and 30 months.
Andres Rueda, president of Santos, said: “This has been a long-standing desire of the fans and since we took over, we have worked to have a project that benefits the club and, of course, all its members and fans.
“It’s a legacy we leave for Santos. A stadium worthy of its immense and passionate fans, a modern development, very well planned, with a structure worthy of Santos FC.”
The partnership is established in the form of surface rights, transferred by Santos to WTorre, with a term of 30 years from the inauguration of the new stadium. The club continues to own the land and stadium and holds the right to use the site.
In December, Santos members approved the formation of a partnership with WTorre for the construction of the new venue. The decision came after board members approved the project earlier that month following a meeting with WTorre chief executive Claudio Macedo and architect Luiz Volpato, with the expectation that the sale of memberships and sponsorships could have commenced in April.
The Arena Vila Belmiro will have a capacity of 30,108 and will be built on the site of the club’s current home, the Estádio Urbano Caldeira. In October 2022, Santos announced that it would be pressing ahead with the plans following a meeting with WTorre, which later made an official presentation of the project to board members.
In August 2021, Santos renewed a MoU with WTorre to explore the possibility of a new stadium. It came after an initial MoU was signed in September 2020, although that agreement was only valid for one year.
It is now expected that demolition work on the Estádio Urbano Caldeira could begin following the conclusion of the domestic season in December, with construction of the new stadium commencing in January. Santos will need to find a temporary home in São Paulo whilst working is taking place.
Commenting on the formation of the new MoU, Marco Siqueira, CEO of WTorre, said: “It is an honour for WTorre to be part of an important moment like this in the great history of Santos Futebol Clube, with a project that will start a new chapter in the club’s history and further boost tourism and entertainment in the city.
“We will work to deliver a modern, complete stadium that will be the stage for unforgettable moments of celebration.”