Portuguese Primeira Liga football club Sporting CP has revealed details of a project that intends to breathe new life into the area surrounding its stadium and arena.
‘Cidade Sporting’, or ‘Sporting City’, intends to combine sport, art and technology, while harnessing the club’s status as a multi-sport entity. The project will commence in May with the construction of a “green artery” that will connect Estádio José Alvalade (pictured), the home of the football club, to Pavilhão João Rocha, the arena which houses its indoor sports teams.
In June, work will start on the creation of a basketball court, intended for use for the 3×3 format of the sport, along with a skate park. These will be located near to the stadium and will incorporate urban art.
The project also intends to serve the needs of Sporting’s home city, Lisbon, which this year is serving as the European Capital of Sport. It will grant citizens new spaces to practice sport. André Bernardo, a member of Sporting’s board of directors, told the club’s in-house newspaper, Jornal Sporting: “Cidade Sporting is a very important step in fulfilling our vision that sport is a means to achieve an end to improve the well-being of people’s lives.
“We, with this project, will create a space that will have several dimensions, in addition to sport, that we already offer, attracting people to play in open spaces, giving dynamism to areas that today do not have it, even on game days.
“At the same time, we will be ‘painting’ these spaces with the best artistic and technological work, so that, as a whole, they are also a reference and an attraction from the cultural point of view. I like to give Bilbao as an example. With due respect, there is a before and an after in the city’s notoriety due to the construction of the Guggenheim Museum.
“This is the ambition of Cidade Sporting… at its base concept a ‘Museum-City’. One dimension reinforces the other and, therefore, we consider that Sporting CP comes out strongly reinforced and places the club and sport where they should and deserve to be.”
Sporting is working in association with Lisbon City Council on the project, with Bernardo of the belief it will be received well by the club’s fans. He added: “As it could not be otherwise, ‘Sportinguistas’ will be the main ones targeted to benefit from the project, directly and indirectly.
“Firstly, because Cidade Sporting will be a pioneering project. Secondly, because it improves the conditions of the stadium, arena and peripheral areas. Consequently, this will invite members and fans to visit this ‘City’ beyond the game days. And even during game days, they will have a range of options they didn’t have before.
“This project will also constitute, in the medium/long term, a new flow of extra revenue, directly or indirectly, outside the current sources, which is important for the sustainability of the club.”