On January 17th, the mayor of Caracas, Jorge Rodriguez, and British architect Richard Rogers signed a contract that confirms Rogers will oversee the design and construction of two new stadiums within "Hugo Chavez" Park. Both stadiums should be completed by 2015.
The 200-hectare "Hugo Chavez" Park will be located around the race course La Rinconada and the Museum Alejandro Otero (MAO). The project, which began in April 2013, includes the construction of a football stadium with capacity for 50,000 people and a baseball stadium with capacity for 45,000, plus a multipurpose gym and the new headquarters of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela.
During his visit to Caracas, Rogers, who received the key to the city from the mayor, said: "I think the important thing is to recover spaces for recreation, for the good of the people, that city dwellers feel that they can enjoy the environment, either with walks, or alone or in groups. And these stadiums are just such recovered spaces. They will say that I came for political reasons, not - on the contrary - to do my work as an architect in search of the benefits found in the environment." After the event, the architect did an inspection of the land where the park will be built as well as an urban complex designed by the Venezuelan architect Fruto Vivas.
Rogers' interest in Venezuela began when he met President Chavez, who raised the idea of designing a recreational park to help the people of Caracas, a few years ago. Rogers gladly accepted the challenge: "(...) since I am passionate about finding abandoned spaces, rescuing and placing them in the service of their inhabitants, for their enjoyment and benefit, I put myself in the service of Caracas."