Faro and Loulé want to rethink the Algarve Stadium to enhance it (even) more

The Algarve Stadium is 20 years old and “is not a white elephant”, assure the mayors of Loulé and Faro

Algarve Stadium – Photo: Nuno Costa | Sul Informação

A renewed strategy for the Algarve Stadium, which thinks about the future of this equipment in light of the space that surrounds it and what exists there, is what the mayors of Loulé and of Faro, at a time when the sports venue celebrates 20 years and is very close to being paid in full.

Two decades after the construction of the stadium, as part of Euro 2004 - it hosted three matches of the competition -, both Rogério Bacalhau and Vítor Aleixo, presidents of the Chambers of Faro and Loulé, respectively, the municipalities that came together to build it, guaranteed the Sul Informação that the investment was worth it and ensure that the Algarve Stadium «is not a white elephant».

«The stadium has seen intense activity over these years, contrary to a certain idea that ended up being assimilated by an important part of public opinion, that it is a facility that was only used for Euro2004», illustrated Vítor Aleixo.

«We have already hosted many football events at the highest level, international competitions, festivals, motor racing events, gatherings of large crowds to mark unique events, such as a mass as part of World Youth Day. And these are just a few examples. So that equipment is not a white elephant. That equipment, today, with the program of activities it has, is an investment that has a strong social and economic return for the Algarve», added the mayor of Loulé.


Vítor Aleixo – Photo: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação


«I think it’s an excellent piece of equipment that the region has. And I congratulate those who fought for it, for its construction, taking into account that the Algarve has so little equipment of regional relevance – and this is relevant at a regional, but also national level», said, for his part, Rogério Bacalhau.

«It is a consolidated piece of equipment. We still had two loans from his design. One was paid in 2023 and the last installment of the other will now be paid at the beginning of 2024. Therefore, we will have absolutely no medium or long-term charges», he added.

At this moment, the president of the Chamber of Faro, the Algarve Stadium, «of all those built in the country, apart from those that belong to the big clubs, I think it is the one that is in the best condition and in full operation».

Taking into account this reality and the fact that the stadium is about to finally be paid for in full, both mayors are already thinking about the future.

Vítor Aleixo defends «a new management scenario, not only for the stadium, but for that sports complex, in which the centerpiece is the Algarve Stadium. There are proposals and intentions in this regard that are currently being considered by the Chambers of Loulé and Faro».

«This is a stadium that has everything it needs to have a higher level of demand and greater external visibility of use. It is between two very important urban centers, Loulé and Faro, and also close to Olhão. There is a train station very close by, it is on top of a motorway interchange, on the A22 », he added.

The future involves, from the outset, having, in that location, «a sports center for high competition, particularly in football», which allows «the use of that equipment by foreign teams that interrupt their championships, particularly in certain areas of Europe ».

These teams are already training «here in the Algarve and using that stadium. This is something that can certainly continue».


Photos: Nuno Costa | Sul Informação


«Right now, we have an investment of more than one and a half million in the construction of three training fields, which will allow us to provide even better conditions for teams that want to come here to train, play, and so on», he stated, for his part, Rogério Bacalhau.

«Because, when there are games, in particular official games, but other games too, in the previous days you cannot play on the field, because it will be damaged, we are building three training fields and a training center, which will , in some way, enhance the Algarve Stadium even more», he concluded.

From here, the president of the Chamber of Faro argues that the Stadium and Parque das Cidades “must be rethought”.

«We will have to create a team, the two municipalities, to rethink that space, in terms of what is going to be done there and make changes to the Detailed Plan that is in force, in order to provide the Stadium with a new centrality», he defended .

«The idea was to hire a team that, based on half a dozen premises, would think about that space and make a proposal to the two municipalities, which would then analyze and make decisions for the future», he said.

At issue is, for example, the construction of a hotel unit, but also the installation of services, in Rogério Bacalhau's view.

«For the two municipalities to build more sports equipment there does not seem to me to be the most appropriate situation. But we can have hotels there, we can have a set of other activities that will bring added value to the Stadium itself and help make this equipment even more profitable», defended the Farense mayor.

As the construction of the Algarve Central Hospital is also planned in that area, «then what I am saying becomes even more pressing, because there will certainly be a need to create support services for the various people and entities that will travel there» .


Rogério Bacalhau – Photo: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação


On Vítor Aleixo's part, the vision is something different, despite converging when it comes to hotel equipment.

«I think that all the space should be for public equipment. There may eventually be hotel equipment there to support both users of future health equipment and sports users. The prospect of creating a hotel unit for this purpose will not shock me».

«But urbanizing, subdivision, an idea that also circulates sometimes, while I'm here, I will be directly against it and it won't be with me that this project will move forward», warned Vítor Aleixo.

What is certain is that, in 20 years, ten of which with the current presidents of the Chambers of Faro and Loulé in office, there has been strong harmony and collaboration between the two authorities, despite being led by executives from different parties.

«The Chamber of Loulé and the Chamber of Faro They have had a perfect relationship, with excellent understanding. Party issues have not been of any importance between me and my colleague Rogério Bacalhau. There has been a history of good relationships between the two of us. And this is something that I consider important to highlight at this moment, especially because politicians, regardless of their partisan color, exist to serve the public good and only then do their partisan interests come, which they naturally have», defended Vítor Aleixo.

«The Chambers of Faro and Loulé have gotten along very well, they have managed that space well and have known, over the years, to ensure that the equipment is in good condition and to enhance its use», illustrated Rogério Bacalhau.

The future also involves «planning the contracting of a maintenance project for that equipment, because it has been 20 years».

«During this period, the equipment was subjected to sometimes very intensive activity, contrary to what some people think. We have to think about creating a project and carrying out a contract to preserve the Stadium, which doesn't have to be cheap», concluded Vítor Aleixo.


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