Estádio Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Estádio da Luz)
|Inauguration||25.10.2003 (Benfica - Nacional Montevideo 2-1)|
|Record attendance||65,400 (Benfica - Nacional, 25.10.2003)|
|Cost||118 713 901 Euro|
|Ownership||Sport Lisboa e Benfica|
|Address||Av. General Norton De Matos 1500, Lisboa|
Description: Estádio da Luz
The ground was built just adjecent the former home of Benfica that used to stand there since 1954. Investment was prompted by Portugal hosting Euro 2004 and requiring extensive investment in infrastructure. Its common name, Estadio da Luz, refers to the nejghbourhood of Luz in which it stands. Fans also refer to it as A Catedral (The Cathedral) – both names inherited after its predecessor, one of Europe's largest venues back in the days.
Construction cost close to €120m and was done along design by Populous (back then HOK Sport). Interestingly, Benfica stands among very few clubs in Portugal that financed their own stadium. Although the size proved to large in the first decade, the club has been doing well attracting crowds. Record attendance of the inaugural match still stands, though.
Venue is famous for Benfica's unusual mascot, an eagle that flies over the pitch before each fixture. Thanks to its location in Lisbon and largest capacity in Portugal, it was the Euro 2004 final venue and place of numerous Portugal international games. In 2007 new list of Seven Wonders was announced here and UEFA chose da Luz as location of 2014 Champions League final.
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Although the stadium’s architect assures the roof structure wasn’t at risk, pieces of the roof were falling onto the stands on Sunday. Thankfully the public were evacuated before that happened.
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His monument in front of Estádio da Luz has been covered in scarves and flowers since yesterday, when fans first heard of their legend’s passing. Today Eusébio took his last round of honour and the coffin was placed in the Centre of the stadium, accompanied by applause, chants and pyrotechnics.
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