When Benfica was born, in 28/02/1904, the club did not have (yet) a field of play. Founded by some of the best portuguese footballers of that time, but with no economic capability, the Club started to use the Terras do Desembargador public fields, at Belém, next to the Convento das Freiras Salésias, where football was being played since 1892 and that was, by the end of XIX century and the beginning of the XX , one of the most required places at Lisbon. It was there that our players were initiated into the “desporto-rei” (number 1 sport), firstly as spectators and as players after. After 1904/05 and 1905/06 seasons, the land degradation, as well as the lack of conditions to the spectators (stands) and players (dressing rooms), have led the club to leave the field.
While failing the desired physical space, although the seeking persistence, Benfica played, during the 1906/07 season, in Campo da Quinta Nova (Carcavelos) and in Campo da Cruz Quebrada. At 1907/08 season Benfica was still playing in the existing fieds of Lisbon, but, with the inauguration of Quinta da Feiteira’s field, in Benfica, it moved to those facilities, tough it was initially considered a neutral field. The club was possessing a super structure (excellent team) but there was missing an own facility, in order to develop the players activity.
At the beginning of 1908/09, with the Sport Clube de benfica’s (Feiteira’s holder) structures absorption (athletic field, Headquarter and governing bodies) , the excellent players group of Belém, was now possessing field of play, where they remained until 1910/11. Nevertheless, the club had to move because of the tax payment inability, and had to use, during the next seasons, two rivals belonging fields: in 1911/12, Pavalhã’s field, SC Império’s property and, at the next season (1912/13), the Laranjeiras field, Internacional’s (CIF) property.
Finally, after two seasons, Benfica was using an own field - Sete Rios- built in a rented land, the Quinta Nova, where was for four seasons (1913/14 to 1916/17), moving after to an area with better conditions, after some improvement works. The intention was to stay in Sete Rios, but the SL Benfica was forced to move as a consequence of the inadmissible tax increase. The field was located at Quinta de Marrocos, in Benfica, at the back of the headquarter, situated at Avenida Gomes Pereira. This area was rented and used between 1917/18 and 1922/23. This time, Benfica was forced to leave because of the fact that a street was going to be built on that exactly spot.
At 1923/24 season, there were not so many fields in the city, with the games being played only in two places: Palhavã (Property of Império Lisboa Clube) and Campo Grande (property of Sporting). At 1924/25 season, Benfica came back to a “borrowed house”, the Palhavã field, which was used until the end of Estádio das Amoreira’s works, a great project, only possible thanks to the members factionalism and will.
A great stadium was being built from zero, where we remained for 15 seasons, between 1925/26 and 1939/40. Nevertheless, once more because of the city expansion, the field was sacrificed in order to build an access road to Monsanto (the current Duarte Pacheco).
During 1940/41 season we played three facilities of other clubs, as it were our own fields. In what concerns to official matches, we played 1 match in Salésias, Belenenses’s property, 1 in Lumiar - Unidos FC de Lisboa) and 13 in Estádio do Lumiar, where Sporting was used to play, while our facilities were being prepared, at Campo Grande. It was there that we have played during 13 seasons, from 1941/42 to 1953/54. Since 1954, the club has decided to play no more football matches at Campo Grande, tough it was used for formation and several other sports until 1971,as there were training fields, an athletics track, shoot career, and a basketball court. It was a glorious journey, with money contributions, genders (for auction) and the efforts of thousands (supporters) spread all around the world.
For a little bit more than half-century (Inauguration on 01-12-1954), Benfica has managed to, with a gigantic effort, transform its stadium into the best in Portugal and one of the biggest in the world.