With a huge effort being made to transform the Club at the end of the 20th century, a plan to revive Sporting's stagnating real estate with the construction of a new, modern stadium became a reality. The stadium, inaugurated on the 6th of August 2003, stands as a source of pride for all Sporting fans, embodying a delicate mix of functionality and beauty.
Construction got underway on the 15th of January 2001, when Sporting Clube de Portugal teamed up to build a new home for the Alvalade side.
With the building work evolving as the project moved forward, Sporting fans around the world eagerly awaited a first glimpse of the 7th stadium in Sporting's history: Estádio José Alvalade, as the Club's statutes state it must be called, in homage to Sporting's founder.
Preparation for the 6th of August 2003 inauguration actually got underway, with tests starting on the 22nd of July. All that was missing was a ball, the players and packed stands.
A truly memorable experience was set up for the opening night, with Sporting hosting the powerful Manchester United. Gates opened at 18h30 and the fans were soon full, long before the 20h45 kick-off.
Sporting came out comfortable winners over the English visitors, with Luís Filipe opening the scoring and João Pinto netting a brace in a 3-1 victory. Cristiano Ronaldo, with one of the finest performances of his career, destroyed the Red Devils that night and was soon on his way to Manchester for 15 million euros.
With Fernando Santos at the helm, Sporting set out for kick-off with a team comprised of Ricardo, Miguel Garcia, Beto, Hugo, Rui Jorge, Custódio, Rochemback, Luís Filipe, João Pinto, Cristiano Ronaldo and Silva. Introduced during the encounter was Lourenço, Paulo Bento, Polga, Toñito and Mário Sérgio. while Tiago, Nélson, Quiroga, Rui Bento, Pedro Barbosa, Niculae, Sá Pinto, Paíto and Clayton cheered there side on.
Architect - Tomás Taveira
Construction - Alves Ribeiro, Novopca, Martifer, Tecnovia, Efacec, IBM and Siemens
Start of Construction - 15th of January 2001
Inauguration of the Stadium - 6th of August 2003 (gates opened at 18h30)
Pitch size - 105 x 68 metres
Total capacity - 50,095
Stand A - 24,242
Stand B - 21,970
Executive Boxes and VIP Seating - 3,610
Press - 204
Reduced Mobility Seating - 50
The seventh stadium sits in the heart of an urban area between Avenida Padre Cruz, 2ª Circular and Alameda das Linhas Torres, next to the older stadium which has since been demolished. The new, futuristic stadium hosted five matches during Euro-04 (played in Portugal), as well as a UEFA Cup final on the 18th of May 2005.
The Sporting Museum was officially opened on the 31st of August 2004, acting as a dedicated 1,000m2 home for the Club's countless trophies and long history.
In May 2005, UEFA awarded Alvalade with the prestigious title of a 5 Star Stadium.