After exactly two years of waiting – in between commissions, departments and municipal institutions; in total over thirty exchanges of documents – Palmeiras has finally been presented with the license that allows S.E. Palmeiras and WTorre initiate construction of the new Palestra Italia. The Arena will be a multi-use complex that also includes a stage for concerts and operas. In two years time, the city of São Paulo will enjoy one of the most spacious and comfortable sporting and cultural venues in Latin America, in addition to the most modern football stadium in the world.
The symbolic handover of the documents happened this Wednesday morning, at the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital in São Paulo, where the President of Palmeiras Luiz Gonzaga Belluzzo is recovering from heart surgery. The mayor of São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab, personally went to congratulate Belluzzo.
“It was not a simple visit, as I actually came to bring a gift to President Belluzzo: the publication of the license of the Arena Palestra Italia in the Official Gazette,” Kassab said. “Work can now begin on this arena, which will be a great sporting and cultural centre within the city of São Paulo”.
In addition to the mayor, Palmeiras’ acting president Salvador Hugo Palaia, the club’s managing director Jose Cyrillo Junior, the owner of constructor WTorre Walter Tower and other officials were present during the improvised ceremony. Belluzzo, still weak and visibly moved, briefly addressed the press, mentioning the importance of everyone joining forces for the good of the club – something that should be interpreted as a direct message to Palaia.
Walter Tower confirmed that the deadline for handing over the arena is 30 months from now, but that he intends to deliver in less time. “We are expecting to finish the work in 24 months – or even a little less – in order to compensate for the delay in releasing the license,” he said. “We are already taking steps to accelerate the work,” he added.
Walter Tower also announced the eminent launch of a hotsite, allowing the public to follow the construction in real time. “We will bring about a revolution in interactivity with Palmeiras’ supporters”, he explained. “We will have one or two cameras transmitting in real-time, online, everything that is being done on the construction site, in addition to having a diary with more specific information, such as how many employees are busy at the time, what kind of material is being used, what has been done on any particular day.” he added. The hotsite is scheduled to go online within 30 days.
For a recap of what the Arena will look like when concluded, click here.
AVANTI PALESTRA !!!