Club: América Futebol Clube | Opening: 2014 | Capacity: 33,000 seats
History and description
The Arena das Dunas got built to serve as one of the playing venues for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It replaced the old Machadão stadium, which got demolished in October 2011.
Construction of the stadium progressed slowly and was only completed in December 2013, six months before the start of the World Cup. The Arena das Dunas officially opened on 26 January 2014 with a double-header involving local sides América and ABC.
The design of the stadium by architecture firm Populous was inspired by Natal’s famous sand dunes. Its most characteristic features are the upper tier and roof in the shape of petals. The space between the petals allows the on-shore sea breeze to flow into the stadium while the roof shields the spectators from the at times intense sunlight.
During the 2014 World Cup, the Arena das Dunas hosted four first round group matches. An additional 10,000 seats were added on the second tier behind both goals to lift capacity to 43,000.
After the tournament, the arena became the home of local side América de Natal, while ABC FC occasionally uses the arena for important matches.
How to get to the Arena das Dunas
The Arena das Dunas is located toward the south of the city of Natal at about 5 kilometres from its old town (Cidade Alta and Ribeira). The affluent and touristic Ponta Negra area lies about 7 kilometres further south along the Atlantic Coast.
Take a taxi or inquire locally about appropriate bus connections.
The arena is situated directly adjacent to the BR-101, one of Natal’s main arteries, and the stadium’s central location and it being close to two of the city’s major shopping malls make that it is well-connected in terms of public transport.
Address: Arena das Dunas, Lagoa Nova, Natal
Eat, drink, and sleep near the Arena das Dunas
The Arena das Dunas is located in a not particularly interesting middle class residential area. There are a few local eateries around, while the sizable Midway Mall, a 20-minute walk north of the stadium, also boasts a good selection of restaurants and cafes. A little further south of the stadium there is the similarly-sized Natal Shopping with comparable options.
Otherwise, eating and drinking is best done in either the old town or Ponta Negra area, which is also where most nightlife is.
There are a few hotels in the vicinity of the Arena das Dunas, from all of which it takes 10 to 15 minutes walking to get to the arena. Monza Palace Hotel and Hotel Maine, which lie along the BR-101, are both basic options that get decent reviews. Casa do Holandes is a third option.
America de Natal Tickets
Tickets for América games can be bought online, at the América club office at the Av. Rodrigues Alves 950 in central Natal not far from the old town, or at various sports stores across the city including at Midway, Cidade de Jardim, and Partage shopping malls.
Ticket are generally available from the day before the match. They are also available on the day of the match at the ticket windows of the stadium.
Expect to pay from R$20.00 to R$40.00 for a ticket.
America may at time play home matches at their much-smaller own ground Arena America.