Estádio Municipal de Braga

Estádio Municipal de Braga ( English: Braga Municipal Stadium) is a football stadium in Braga, Portugal, with an all-seated capacity of 30,154, built in 2003 as the new home for local club Sporting Clube de Braga, and as a UEFA Euro 2004 venue. Its architect was Portuguese Eduardo Souto de Moura. The stadium is also known as A Pedreira (The Quarry), as it is carved into the face of the adjacent Monte Castro quarry. Sporting Clube de Braga pays a monthly rent of €500 for the use of the stadium. In July 2007, Sporting de Braga announced a three-year sponsorship deal with French insurance company AXA, which included the change of the name by which the club refers to the stadium to Estádio AXA (AXA Stadium). However, the municipality, as landlord, clarified that the stadium had not been officially renamed as this was a deal involving its tenant only.

The stadium was carved from a quarry (Monte Castro) that overlooks the city of Braga. Stands run only along both sides of the pitch. Behind the goal at one end are the rock walls of the quarry and at the other is an open view over the city sprawling in the distance. Each stand is covered with a canopy-style roof, and both are connected to each other across the pitch by dozens of steel strings, a design inspired by ancient South American Inca bridges. Once inside the stadium, moving from one stand to the other is done through a 5,000 sq.m plaza under the pitch. The enormous rock moving process contributed heavily to the final €83.1 million cost, the fourth most expensive of the ten new stadia built for Euro 2004, after Estádio da Luz (capacity: 65,400) and Estádio Josí© Alvalade (capacity: 50,080), both in Lisbon, and Estádio do Dragão (capacity: 50,399) in Porto. The Stadium is also UEFA approved to host the UEFA Europa League final as well as participate in the elite competition for Europe's top clubs, the UEFA Champions League.

Other events

  • The stadium plaza held the Minho Campus Party, a LAN party, in 2004.
  • The Corrs Performed at the stadium in 2004 on their Borrowed Heaven Tour.

Portugal national football team
The following national team matches were held in the stadium.

The stadium is often considered one of the most original and beautiful stadia in the world. The Financial Times, in an article about Britain's stadia, refers to AXA as one of the four examples of "beautiful grounds". It states that: "There has been nothing in this country to match the architectural delight of Eduardo Souto de Moura’s stadium for Braga in Portugal, a breathtaking arena carved into the side of a rock face on the site of a former quarry". In 2006 the stadium won the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award for the best new global design. In 2011, the architect; Eduardo Souto de Moura, won the Pritzker Prize for the stadium design. The stadium is the first football venue to win the award, as well as the second sports venue of any kind to win it, after the 1993 award to Fumihiko Maki's renovation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

# Date Score Opponent Competition 1. 31 March 2004 1–2 Italy Friendly 2. 15 October 2008 0–0 Albania World Cup 2010 qualification


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Building Activity