The Lisbon Ocenarium was inaugurated in 1998 for the occasion of the universal exposition dedicated to the oceans. The public aquarium is today one of the public equipment in the Portuguese capital that receives more visitants per year. The last statistics suggest a million visits per year. The building has a main tank that emulates an open sea area where the tropical Indian, the Pacific, the Antarctic and the Atlantic oceans are recreated in four corners of the aquarium, both in aquatic fauna and in shoreline. The otters are the ex-libris of the Oceanarium.
In the area of the city where the universal exposition took place and in its opening year Lisbon obtained a multi-purpose space able to receive 20 thousand people.
During the Expo ’98 sports events, concerts and even operas took place in the Pavilhão da Utopia, later renamed Pavilhão Atlântico (a multi-purpose pavilion). The structure that displays an appearance similar with a spaceship (it was inspired in the shape of the Atlantic horseshoe crab) is today the Meo Arena and it belongs to the European Arenas Association.
Lisbon is also a city of football with its two clubs in the First League - Sporting and Benfica - and two stadiums opened for the Euro 2004. This year, the Estádio da Luz (Benfica’s home) received the final of the Champions League. The stadium, also known as the cathedral by the supporters, has a capacity for more than 65 thousand people and it was inaugurated in 2003. The old stadium was demolished, and the modern one is newly constructed.
Despite the modern equipment, the Portuguese capital has the particularity of having a theatre dedicated to the opera. The São Carlos National Theatre opened its doors in 1793, it is a national monument, provides work to an artist’s group and has a place where is possible to see the history of theatre. Every year the season is closed, in the beginning of summer, with the Festival do Largo. This event gives life to the Largo de São Carlos during a whole month.