A head of the company that acquired the space told Lusa that the urban complex covers some 12,000 square metres, and is comprised of 40 apartments, a shopping centre, where a cinema and a disco once functioned, as well as the Bullring, which has been closed since the end of 2019.
“Our goal is to carry out an urban rehabilitation of the entire area, preserving the memory and identity of the bullring in the city,” Jorge Duarte, administrative manager of Corcova in the Algarve - Investimentos Turísticos e Imobiliários, SA.
Asked about the solution to be given to the area occupied by the arena itself, Jorge Duarte revealed that this was an “ongoing project” and something that is being studied among the promoters and the municipality, but underlined that “in terms of bullfighting, it has ended”.
As for the hypothesis of this area becoming “a showroom, apartments or a shopping centre” it is something that “is not yet determined”, he stressed. In addition, the housing structure is “very degraded” and still needs intervention.
A source from Albufeira Town Hall confirmed to Lusa the deactivation of the Bullring, whose bullfights were previously taking place through an agreement between the former owners and the promoter of the events, something that ended when Corcova acquired the complex.
The Albufeira Bullring, which has a capacity for 3,803 spectators, opened on 10 April, 1982 and was the only bullring that still functioned regularly in the Algarve.
According to data from the General Inspection of Cultural Activities (IGAC), in 2019 it was the location with the most shows in Portugal (20), but the sixth in terms of attendance (16,260), with an average of 813 spectators per bullfight.
The 2019 Bullfighting Activity Report prepared by IGAC highlights the fact that Albufeira “went to sixth place in terms of spectators, when it remained in second place for at least four years, with a decrease of about 5,600 spectators”.
Lusa tried to determine the date of the last bullfight, but it was not possible to contact the organisation and the official website of the Praça de Touros de Albufeira is no longer active.