Recently fully opened, now also part of StadiumDB. Here’s the stadium next to which Cristiano Ronaldo was born. Quite literally so…
Yes, it lies just 350 meters from the hospital where Cristiano Ronaldo was born back in 1985. Except at that time a completely different stadium was located here. Recently completed, now the venue is in private hands of CS Maritimo and will host its first major international game when Portugal face Sweden in March. Here’s how Funchal got a world class stadium…
In April 2009 the public stadium was officially transferred to CS Maritimo. The football club took on the responsibility of sustaining the stadium without public support in the future, however at the same time was granted substantial public aid (€31.5m) to reconstruct the venue. In order to make it legal, the stadium was divided into sports/leisure and commercial parts.
Reconstruction began almost instantly, in late summer of 2009, because the design was ready for months by that time. Unfortunately works lasted for just over a year when the project came to a halt in October of 2010, due to the public aid being revoked in deficit-cutting efforts.
After a turbulent period of bureaucratic struggles work resumed in 2014, allowing fans to enter the north stand, first of four. By 2015 the east and south ones joined which led to demolition of the west side, last remainder of the old ground. Final sections of the new west grandstand were approved for use in late 2016.
The goal of Maritimo’s reconstruction was clear and simple: transforming the old athletics stadium into a more robust football ground of no less than 9,000 covered seats, leaving enough room for ancillary uses.
One of those is additional parking space as open public parking sites have been scarce around the venue. Thus, a 3-floor parking was created under the east stand. From the parking fans enter the stadium’s promenade on level 4, which is also a viewing deck due to the stadium’s picturesque location.
Overview of Funchal is also available from the upper west stand, where two level of private boxes were created (24 and 18 on floors 2 and 3, respectively), as well as a presidential suite for 108 guests. When these areas were launched into use in December 2016, the stadium’s capacity finally exceeded 10,000.