Portugal: Estádio José Alvalade undergoes modernisation

source: StadiumDB.com; author: Mateusz Osmola

Portugal: Estádio José Alvalade undergoes modernisation The stadium where Sporting CP plays its home matches is gradually changing its appearance. The venue is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year and, in addition to the aesthetic transformation, the upcoming season will feature state-of-the-art technology to make life easier for all visitors.


When was Estádio José Alvalade opened?

Sporting Lisbon's current stadium was inaugurated on August 6, 2003. It is the seventh home of the club from the Portuguese capital. The first venue was opened in 1956, with Sporting's founder José Alvalade as its patron. The Lions played their matches there until 2003, when the stadium was demolished and replaced by Estádio José Alvalade XXI. The new arena was built for Euro 2004, which was held on Portuguese pitches. The stadium was designed by Portuguese architect Tomas Taveira, known for his exceptionally bright visions, keeping it in the club's colours.

A truly memorable experience was the inaugural night when Sporting hosted the mighty Manchester United. The gates of the arena opened at 6.30pm and the fans filled the venue well before the match kicked off at 8.45pm, with Sporting beating the visitors from England 3:1. This game introduced to the whole world a man by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo, who played a phenomenal game and was soon on his way to Manchester for €15 million. Interestingly, Fernando Santos was on the Portuguese coaching bench at the time.

Estádio Jose Alvalade© Grzegorz Kaliciak

As well as seating more than 50,000 spectators under the stands, Estádio José Alvalade has extensive facilities, including a conference centre, supermarket, club offices and the headquarters of several other establishments. However, the stadium's bright façade and some of the seats in the auditorium, which form a colourful mosaic, were not to the liking of the club's supporters, so the arena has been gradually changing its face over the last few years.

Estádio José Alvalade is undergoing a series of upgrades

The stadium's exterior si made up of multi-coloured tiles. The seats were laid out in a random-looking mosaic of mixed colours, but these were gradually changed to dark green in the second decade of use. The whole process was completed before the new season. The towers supporting the roof and entrance stairs, originally bright yellow, were also repainted green.

Sporting is still carrying out work to remove the tiles on the exterior of the Alvalade. The work is well advanced and could be completed soon, making the stadium completely green. In addition to this, Wi-Fi will be installed throughout the arena, as well as in the club's training centre, which is expected to be done before the end of the upcoming Primeira Liga campaign.

Estádio Jose Alvalade© Patrick Hendriksen

New revolving gates with NFC technology will be installed in the stadium as well, enabling contactless payments. The first of the new turnstiles have already arrived and a pilot is being prepared to get them up and running by the end of the calendar year. Work on Wi-Fi will take place in stages throughout the season and the technology provider will be announced soon. Estádio José Alvalade will host the UEFA Women's Champions League final in 2025.