Estádio do Dragão
|Public transit||Estádio do Dragão metro station (lines , , and )|
|Operator||Porto Estádio (FC Porto Group)|
|Record attendance||52,000 (16 November 2003)|
|Scoreboard||Two 48-square-metre (520 sq ft) SLite 10 LED screens (Barco)|
|Opened||16 November 2003|
|Construction cost||€98 million|
|Architect||Manuel Salgado (Portugal)|
|FC Porto (2003–present)|
The Estádio do Dragão (Portuguese pronunciation: [(ɨ)ˈʃtadiu du dɾɐˈɣɐ̃w], Stadium of the Dragon) is an all-seater football stadium located in Porto, Portugal, and the home of FC Porto. It was inaugurated on 16 November 2003 with a friendly match between Porto and FC Barcelona, which set an attendance record of 52,000 people. The stadium's current capacity is 50,431.
Designed by Portuguese architect Manuel Salgado, the Estádio do Dragão replaced the club's previous stadium, the Estádio das Antas, inaugurated in 1952. Rated a UEFA category four stadium, it hosted five matches in UEFA Euro 2004, including the opening, and has held several other international club competition and national team matches. It has also served as a concert venue to international music artists, such as Coldplay and The Rolling Stones.
The stadium's name comes from the dragon atop the club crest, which also gives the team their nickname, Dragons.
Construction and inauguration
Construction works began in late 2001, and were complete in November 2003, some months after what was expected, since in February 2002, Porto mayor Rui Rio changed the estate distribution, criticizing the plan for including high-scale housing and shopping for the area. These actions forced the chairman of FC Porto, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, to halt all building operations, which were only resumed after a consensus was reached.
Designed by Portuguese architect Manuel Salgado and built by Portuguese contractor Somague, it cost €97,755,318, of which €18,430,956 was subsidized by the government. To help underwrite costs, each stand carries one or two sponsor names: Super Bock (south), tmn (east), meo (west), and Coca-Cola (north stand). Away fans are placed in the left corner of the north stand, while home Ultra groups, Super Dragões and Colectivo Ultras 95, occupy the south stand and the north stand, respectively, like on the old stadium.
The stadium was inaugurated on November 16, 2003, with a match against FC Barcelona, which featured the debut of a 16-year-old Lionel Messi in the Catalan side. Porto won 2–0 with goals by Derlei and Hugo Almeida. Due to severe turf problems, however, Porto was forced to return and play in the old Estádio das Antas, until the turf was replanted by mid-February 2004.
The stadium's name is derived from the presence of a dragon on the club's crest, which is composed of an old stitched leather football under the city's coat of arms. It is also the nickname of the club's football team. Other alternatives were considered, such as keeping the old name, Estádio das Antas (officially, unlike the former stadium), or name after former player Pinga, former manager José Maria Pedroto, or president Pinto da Costa (holding office since 1982).
Portugal national football team
The following national team matches were held in the stadium.
|1.||12 June 2004||1–2||Greece||Euro 2004 Group Stage|
|2.||12 October 2005||3–0||Latvia||2006 World Cup qualification|
|3.||21 November 2007||0–0||Finland||Euro 2008 qualifying|
|4.||28 March 2009||0–0||Sweden||2010 World Cup qualification|
|5.||8 October 2010||3–1||Denmark||Euro 2012 qualifying|
|6.||7 October 2011||5–3||Iceland||Euro 2012 qualifying|
|7.||16 October 2012||1-1||Northern Ireland||2014 World Cup qualification|
Euro 2004 Matches
Constructed to become one of the venues of the UEFA Euro 2004 tournament, it staged the inaugural match between hosts Portugal and eventual winners Greece, as well as three group stage, one quarterfinal, and one semifinal fixtures.
|12 June 2004||Portugal||1–2||Greece||Group A|
|15 June 2004||Germany||1–1||Netherlands||Group D|
|18 June 2004||Italy||1–1||Sweden||Group C|
|27 June 2004||Czech Republic||3–0||Denmark||Quarter-finals|
|1 July 2004||Greece||1–0 (aet)||Czech Republic||Semi-finals|
The stadium further cemented its reputation as an all-round sports and entertainment venue when it hosted the Portuguese leg of The Rolling Stones 2006 world tour, and the 2009 Race of Champions South Europe finals. In 2012 it hosted the kick-off to Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto Tour 2nd European leg. On June 10, 2013, Muse performed at the stadium as part of their The 2nd Law Tour. Also, One Direction brought their Where We Are Tour (One Direction) to the stadium in July 2014.
|18 July 2004||Deep Purple|
|12 August 2006||The Rolling Stones|
|18 May 2012||Coldplay|
|10 June 2013||Muse|
|13 July 2014||One Direction|
The stadium is connected to the city centre by the Porto Metro from Estádio do Dragão Metro Station. There are also local buses and taxis.
- "Estádio do Dragão – História" (in Portuguese). FC Porto.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Estádio do Dragão.|
- The most complete reference about the stadium, at www.fcporto.ws
- Estádio do Dragão @ FC Porto's official website
- 3D Model of F.C.Porto Stadium - Google 3D Warehouse