World Cup features Kansas City-designed stadium

Jun 19, 2014

While watching the FIFA World Cup match between the United States and Ghana on Monday night, perhaps you noticed the venue.

The 42,000-seat stadium, called Arena das Dunas or The Stadium of the Dunes, has a petal-shaped canopy and was designed by Populous, a sports architecture firm based in Kansas City, Mo.

According to the firm, the challenge was to create a "grand space" for the people of Natal, Brazil. Architects drew inspiration from the flowing sand dunes that dominate the city.

"We captured the city with its proximity to the water, climate and unique landscape in our design," designer Chris Lee said in an interview

In its 30-year history, Populous has designed six World Cup stadiums, including Soccer City in Johannesburg, Africa, for the 2010 World Cup, and four stadiums for the 2018 World Cup in the cities of Kazan, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don and Sochi in Russia.

Arena das Dunas is scheduled to host four matches during the World Cup. Still to come: Japan vs. Greece on June 19, and Italy vs. Uruguay on June 24.

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