World class venues for Euro Championship 2004

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 20:

Portugal have built seven new stadia and completely renovated three others ahead of the Euro 2004 which they are hosting from June 12 to July 4.

More than 4,000 people have worked on the stadia which are located in eight cities across Portugal. An estimated 650 million euros has been spent to build or complete the renovation of the infrastructures, including parking for the venues.

A massive programme of investment and rebuilding ensures Portugal opens its doors to the footballing world.

D Afonso Henriques

Stadium: This stadium is located in Guimarães which is in the north. It is home to Vitória Guimarães. By the time Euro 2004 starts, the capacity of the stadium will have been increased to over 30,000.

There are four separate stands, with different capacities, although three of the stands look to have been joined. Each stand is split into two tiers. The south stand, together with the entrances and its support areas which concludes the design is the optimum expression of the stadium’s integration into the surrounding urban area.

Its image as an urban building and its close relationship to the adjacent landscaping, defined by a large pedestrian platform, will be accentuated by the open-plan ground floor.

Dragon Stadium: Even though the old Antas stadium was one of the most modern stadiums in Portugal, the new Estádio do Dragão has taken its place just 500 metres away.

Home of Porto, the name was chosen to of both the club and the city of Porto’s association with the dragon through their respective crests.

The impressive looking stadium will seat in excess of 50,000 people with all seating covered by a translucent roof. The stadium is well equipped with restaurants, leisure facilities and congress spaces in all areas of the ground.

The stadium will be incorporated into a new Sports City. The whole area between Av Fernão de Magalhães, the VCI and Are Roque of the Lameira is being redeveloped to include a commercial centre, residential areas and a multi-purpose pavilion.

Five games will be hosted at Estádio do Dragão including the opening fixture and one of the semi finals.

Dr Magalhaes Pessoa Stadium: Estádio Dr Magalhães Pessoa is located in Leiria, which is in central Portugal. As home to UD Leiria, it has been adapted to have a capacity of 30,000.

It has undergone major improvement works. A new stand has been built on the east side. Three new stands will be built and the whole stadium will be under cover. It will have five changing rooms, all fully kitted out. There are two gyms which can be adapted as warm up areas. A pavilion will be built very close to the stadium which will hold a media centre.

Jose Alvalade stadium: The new Jose Alvalade stadium will be a multi-purpose complex. It is built alongside the stadium that Sporting Club de Portugal have played in since 1956.

The stadium will hold 50,000 people with all seating covered. The view from every part of the ground will be superb.

But the stadium will be incorporated into a large complex containing, restaurants and bars, a cinema multiplex and bowling alley.

The stadium is located in the northern area of the city.

The stadium is served well by the local transport system, and can cope with a reasonable flow of traffic before and after matches.

Aviero Municipal stadium: Aviero’s Municipal stadium was developed because the stadium belonging to local side SC Beira Mar’s Mário Duarte only had a capacity of 14,000 and was not considered large enough. It is Situated 5km from the city centre in the Parque de Cidade.

The stadium has a complex design which will accomodate over 30,000 fans. About 500 seats have been put aside of reporters, and commentators.

All the multi-coloured seating is covered and there are plenty of restaurant areas around the ground. There is plenty of room for VIPs too.