Estádio Municipal de Braga (English: Braga Municipal Stadium) is a football stadium in Braga, Portugal, with an all-seated capacity of 30,286, 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: 65,647) and Estádio José Alvalade (capacity: 50,049), 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.
Full name Estádio Municipal de Braga
Location Braga, Portugal
Coordinates 41.5624°N 8.4308°
Built 2003 Opened December 30, 2003
Owner Municipality of Braga
Construction cost$83.1 million
Architect Eduardo Souto de Moura
Capacity 30,286Field dimensions 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)