Estádio Municipal de Braga (Estádio AXA)

Capacity30 154
99 (VIP seats)
882 (Business seats)
814 (Press seats)
32 (Disabled seats)
Country Portugal
CityBraga
ClubsSporting Clube de Braga
Nicknames A Pedreira
Inauguration 30.12.2003 (SC Braga - Celta de Vigo 1-0)
Cost 61 368 781 Euro
Design Eduado Souto de Moura
Address Estádio 1º de Maio, Apartado 12, Avenida da Liberdade, Galerias, 4711-909 Braga

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Description: Estádio Municipal de Braga

It tends to be called the most beautiful or at least one of the most interesting stadiums in the world. Braga’s municipal stadium was built in what used to be a quarry, thus receiving a nickname “A Padreira” (Quarry). Unusual location goes along with original idea by Eduardo Souto de Moura, one of Portugal’s most renowned architect. Stands were erected only alongside the pitch to incorporate the venue into existing landscape.

Though construction works were just over €60m, app. €20m more had to be paid to actually prepare the rocky ground for construction. Between two massive, concrete stands (each holding some 15,000 people) one can wander through a 5,000sqm square under the pitch. The roof also hangs between stands, held up by steel ropes, allegedly inspired by Inca hanging bridges.  

The structure is recognized worldwide, but locally isn’t popular enough to sell out too often. Largest crowds apart from several top games by local Sporting were those of Euro 2004 for which the venue was initially built. Along with football other big events are held here, though less frequently, like concert of The Corrs.

Commercial name is Estadio AXA, but since the club signed their naming rights deal without informing the municipality that owns the stadium, local authorities refuse to treat this as an official name.

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