Algarve Stadium celebrates 20th anniversary

Algarve Stadium was built specifically for the Euro 2004

Algarve Stadium (Estádio do Algarve), the 30,000-seat football stadium built between Loulé and Faro for the Euro 2004, has just celebrated its 20th anniversary.

To celebrate the occasion, the Faro/Loulé Municipalities Association (which manages the stadium) has announced a “vast programme of initiatives” to be carried out throughout 2024, although further details are being kept under wraps for now.

The stadium was officially inaugurated on November 23, 2003, and has hosted many major matches and events throughout its two-decade long history, most recently Portugal’s historic 9-0 Euro qualifier victory over Luxembourg.

“Built from the ground up to host the Euro 2004, the Algarve Stadium hosted its first major event on February 18, 2004 – a friendly match between Portugal and England. Later on, during the final phase of the competition, it hosted two group stage matches (Russia-Spain and Greece-Russia) and a quarter-final match (Netherlands-Sweden),” the association says in a statement to the press.

The association recognises, however, that the stadium had to “broaden its horizons” after the Euro 2004 due to the lack of a top-tier team playing there regularly.

“Today, the Algarve Stadium is a globally recognised facility due to the diversity of events it hosts, including football and rugby matches, concerts, motorsports, and advertising campaigns, among other activities. Of the 150 annual activities, more than one-third are international,” it says.

The stadium is also used as an alternative venue by some regional clubs, such as Farense and Louletano.

By Michael Bruxo

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