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Why can’t people build stadiums in Italy? (Part 2)

But the project exceeded its budget by 84%, with the team cost estimated to be one billion euros today. The overspending left a huge debt and so the local government that owned the stadium demanded exorbitant rent from the clubs.

They were even more ugly when CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) financed a number of projects with the requirement of adding an athletic track to make football fans pushed further, difficult to follow. ball situations on the field.

But the most unfortunate part of the 1990 project lies in its timing. Nowadays, the renovated / newly built stadiums are no different from modern architecture, from a distance looks like a spaceship; at that time, the stadiums in Italy were faithful to the giant concrete ‘rice bowl’ design.
The real stadium-building boom took place in the late 1990s, with iconic constructions like the Stade de France or the Amsterdam Arena. Thus, although built only less than a decade apart, but Italy has many backward and redundant stadiums compared to the rest of Europe. Many pitches are too big for the club’s stature, like San Nicola with 58,000 seats while Bari, currently competing in Serie C, has an average audience of just 12,000. The average number of spectators watching Lazio and AS Roma is 40,000 but that is still too small, leaving more than 33,000 vacancies at the giant Olimpico. On the other hand, clubs have struggled to find round-by-round revenue, while still paying extremely expensive maintenance fees to ensure these dilapidated stadiums meet the standards of tournament organizers.

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Olympic Stadium

Why can’t people build stadiums in Italy? (Part 1)

Italy has no shortage of romantic football stories, from individual players, rich traditional clubs whose stories have been passed down for generations to iconic stadiums.

But at the end of 2020, the outdated facilities, the crumbling brick floor and the uncomfortable view from the stands are still part of the fans’ experience coming to the football field. Only four clubs have their own stadiums: Juventus, Udinese, Sassuolo and Atalanta. The remainder attempted to modernize or build their own ‘soccer sanctuary’, but were all thwarted by a combination of rigid bureaucracy and decision-making at speed. cow turtle. A report earlier this year found that 93% of the stadiums of Italy’s three highest leagues were owned by the government. The average age of these courtyards is 63 years, of which 42% are not equipped with roof.


To understand why the situation is so bad, we have to go back thirty years to the 1990 Italian Summer.

The country’s first boot-shaped World Cup since 1934 sparked a super project to build and renovate stadiums across the country. Exactly only two newly built stadiums are the Stadio delle Alpi in Turin and the Stadio San Nicola in Bari, but the rest are significantly upgraded to host the World Cup.

The San Siro is the most notable example: an additional stand was added to increase capacity, the roof was fitted and the iconic circular concrete blocks to this day. The Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Luigi Ferratis in Genoa, San Paolo in Naples and Artemio Franchi in Florence are also in the category of major upgrades.