Estádio da Luz, officially known as Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica is a multi-purpose stadium located in Lisbon, Portugal. It is mostly used for football and hosts the home matches for SL Benfica and Portugal national team.
Estadio da Luz Stadium has the capacity to hold 64,642 spectators. The stadium is located in Av. General Norton de Matos, 1500-313, Lisbon.
Estadio da Luz was established in the year 1954. When opened it had a capacity to hold 120,000 spectators, making the stadium largest in Europe and third largest in the world in terms of capacity.
The construction for the arena started in 1953 after the municipality of Lisbon gave permission.
Initially, the stands that could accommodate 40,000 were built. With the continued success of the team in terms of result and finances, new stands were built and slowly capacity of the stadium increased.
In 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship, the attendance recorded was 127,000 people.
After a difficult period in terms of results, the club had to cope with the successful bid by Portugal for the UEFA Euro 2004. At first it was thought that the stadium could be renovated. However, it was decided that the current stadium would be demolished and a new one will be built in place off the same.
The new stadium was opened in October 2003 and was named “Nova Cathedral”.
The stadium has hosted some major tournaments. It hosted the 1989-90 European Cup, 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship and the 1983 UEFA Cup Final. It had also hosted the 1992 European Cup Winners’ Final.
The newly built stadium hosted five matches of the 2004 Euro Cup, which included a quarter-final and the final.
The ground has also hosted the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final which featured Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid won 4-1.
Lately, Benfica hosted CSKA Moscow, Manchester United and Basel in the group matches of the 2017 UEFA Champions League.
In 2015, Sporting Lisbon suspended official relations with Benfica after fans carried a banner stating “Very Light 96” which referred to the 1996 Portuguese Cup Final where a Sporting supporter was killed after a flare struck him.
Benfica fans also chanted “Tomorrow there will be more”, which infuriated the away fans and both set of fans started to throw flares at each other before the police came to rescue.