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The Estadio da Luz Lisbon is a modern football stadium that was constructed as part of the massive building project for the 2004 European Championship. The stadium is the home of Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Benfica) not to be confused with Benfica's bitter rivals Sporting Clube de Portugal (Sporting).
The final of the 2004 European Championship was hosted at the Estádio da Luz and the stadium has an official capacity of 65,400 making it Europe's 21st largest stadium. The name Estadio da Luz means the Stadium of Light and it was constructed on the old Cathedral Stadium which for one match had an attendance of 135,000!
The Estadio da Luz stadium for traveling football fans is very easy to reach either by car or by metro. The stadium lies 8 kilometres to the north of Lisbon on the E1 expressway, the main ring road heading to the west. The Estádio da Luz is connected to the blue metro line and is served by the Colegio Mililitar / Luz station. There are not many good hotels in the local vicinity but it is much better to stay in Baixa, the historic centre of Lisbon, which has good metro connections.
The Portuguese are passionate about football and tickets to Benfica league matches can be purchased from the stadium ticket offices before a match. Typical ticket prices vary from €25 - €50 (second tire – half way line) and the Estadio da Luz for Benfica matches do not sell out for most games. The exceptions are against Sporting or Porto both the main rivals. Benfica's emblem is an eagle and the club has an actual real Eagle that flies before major matches, the privileged eagle is called Victoria.
The Estadio da Luz Lisbon
The Portuguese football season follows that of Europe starting in September and ending in June typical there is one home match per 10 days. The Portuguese football league is interesting as there is a mix of older Portuguese and young Brazilian players hoping to be noticed by one of the large European clubs. Due to the similar languages Lisbon is a suitable first destination for the young Brazilian players and many have a first season in Portugal.
On non-match days there are tours of the stadium that visit the team dressing rooms, dugouts, tunnels and the pitch. The tour costs €12.50, lasts an hour and the story history of the stadium is delivered in both English and Portuguese. There are 5 tours daily starting from 10:00 and tickets can be purchased from the ticket office.
For non-football fans who may have be dragged to the Estadio da Luz stadium there is Lisbon’s largest shopping centre on the opposite side of the ring road, the Centro Colombo. Colombo Shopping is vast and there is an array of designer stores and specialist boutique stores, great for non football fans.
The new Estadio da Luz stadium was completed in 2003 built on the location of the old stadium which was traditional known as the Cathedral. The old stadium was constructed during an era when people stood to watch football and the total capacities where huge.
In 1987 the match between Benfica and F.C. Porto had an estimated attendance of 135,000 - just to gauge this the present day population of Lisbon is 564,477 - making the old cathedral stadium one of the largest the world has ever seen. The stadium Estádio da Luz is named after the parish of Lisbon that the stadium stands in, Nossa Senhora da Luz (Our Lady of the Light) the parish name is often shorted to Luz (light) hence the metro station name Colegio Mililitar / Luz. The Estadio da Luz stadium was designed to allow as much light into the stadium with a polycarbonate roof and high arches that appear as a third tier.