Swank stadium to come up in Colombia City

Video: Arena Del Río (YouTube)

An ambitious plan to build a new $407m stadium – Arena Del Rio – has been unlocked in the City of Barranquila in Colombia.

Arena Del Rio will be able to hold 55,000 spectators and will take pride in being the only roofed stadium in Latin America. It will play host to sports events and concerts and will attribute for a fully retractable mobile lawn.

The venue will spread across a 31-hectare site on the banks of the Magdalena River, and will incorporate 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 (Florida [US]-headquartered content hub anchored around stadiums and entertainment districts), California (US)-based Universal Music Group-backed UMUSIC Hotels which aim to combine the experience of a luxury resort with the power of music, Dakia U-Ventures – a Miami (US)-based company which has disrupt the hospitality and entertainment industries through its state-of-the-art technology applications, and Los Angeles (US)-headquartered AECOM, a leader in smart city design and stadium innovation.

The project tab will be picked up by Colombian and foreign private capital, and is set to have an investment impact in the area of $1.25bn. Officials involved with the development informed that Arena Del Rio will create 264,460 jobs – representing approximately 16 percent of Barranquilla’s population – which are divided into 34,540 direct and 229,920 indirect.

Columbia Arena Del RioImage: AECOM & Arena Del Rio

Media reports hinted that Arena Del Rio could become the new residence of the Colombia national football team and Junior de Barranquilla, the present Colombian club football champions.

The Colombia national football team represents Colombia in men’s international football and is managed by the Colombian Football Federation, the governing body for football in Colombia. They are a member of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and presently occupy the 10th spot in the FIFA World Rankings.

A statement sent out by a project spokesperson read, “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. 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 Iván Duque Márquez graced the launch event of the project in Barranquilla recently, and also present was 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 greenlighted last December, which is also part of the orange economy projects (read creative economy) that President Márquez proposed in his Government plan.

The Economic Growth Law introduces new tax discounts for businesses in Colombia, among other reduced taxes and contributions.

Robert Lavia, Chairman, Dakia U-Ventures, observed, “Every destination holds a great history just waiting to be told through cultural and musical 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.”

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