Whilst reports of Serie A’s death have been greatly exaggerated, the future of Italy’s premier league still faces an uncertain future unless clubs can emulate the business model’s of the more financially successful European neighbours.
It’s taken some clubs across the peninsula a long time to realise this, however with Parma FC going bankrupt it appears as if the message has been received, loud and clear.
Tempered somewhat by Juventus’s unexpected appearance in the Champions League, and a strong Italian performance in the Europa League, football teams a know what needs to be done, however now it’s a case of delivering.
With this in mind, we know take a look at seven stadiums which will prove crucial in bringing Serie A back to its glory years:
1. Juventus Stadium
Importance: Juventus Stadium is more than a shot to the arm, it’s living and breathing proof that teams across Italy can successfully own their own stadiums. Whilst they were always one of Italy’s largest teams, The Old Lady have bounced back from Serie B to four back to back Scudetto’s and a Champions League final appearance. You have to attribute a large portion of the success to the new stadium!
2. Stadium Mapei
Importance: Remarkably Stadium Mapei is only the second club owned stadium in Italy after Sassuolo’s owners purchased it from the council in 2013. Rectangular in shape with no running track, the ground has been transformed into an economic hub for the area with the construction of a shopping centre, and recreational facilities including a gym.
3. Stadio Friuli
Earliest Opening: 2015/2016 season
Whilst Udinese don’t outright own Stadio Friuli, the club signed a 99 year lease deal with the local council back in 2013 on the same terms that Juventus have with Turin. With the future of the site secured, La Zebrette, formerly the scourge of the co-efficient, are on track to create the second most modern ground in the country. A horseshoe-shaped stand is currently being erected to compliment the iconic arch of Italia 90.
4. Stadio Della Roma
Earliest Opening: 2016/2017
Team: AS Roma
Importance: AS Roma’s project which is said to be inspired by Rome’ Colosseum is arguably the most important of the bunch as it will help continue the momentum and upward trajectory of the initial “club-owned-stadium surge”. Whereas Udinese and Sassuolo are very much mid-table teams, AS Roma have competed in the Champions League in two back to back seasons – representing Italy in Europe.
Earliest Opening: Unkown.
Importance: Similar to Stadio Olimpico, Sampdoria’s move could be exciting as it would free up Genoa to have sole tenancy of Stadio Luigi Ferraris. The competition, and fear of being left behind by city rivals may inspire Genoa to make a deal with the council and invest in renovating their current stadium which has lots of potential.
6. Stadio Fiorentina
Earliest Opening: Unknown.
Importance: Although perhaps not as esteemed as some of their Northern Italy neighbours, ACF Fiorentina are actually one of the richest clubs in the Peninsula. Backed by the Della Valle family, the club has been run in a sustainable manner for the last few seasons, and the construction of a new stadium to replace Stadio Artemio Franchi would be the icing on the cake.
7. Stadio Milan
Earliest Opening: 2018/2019
Team: AC Milan
Importance: In order for League’s to flourish you need to have multiple teams competing at the top otherwise the Championship becomes a foregone conclusion. Historically there are very few teams who can challenge Juventus, and AC Milan are one of them. It would also allow Inter to takeover San Siro, and renovate it further.
- Stadio IS Arena – Built by Cagliari with the best of intentions before they returned to Stadio Sant’Elia, this stadium needs to be a learning curve for the rest of Italy. You cannot take short cuts on the road to success!
- Palermo – Home to one of the most outspoken and controversial presidents, clubs such as Palermo need to stop the bullshit and deliver. Only release plans if you intend to act upon them!
Let us know below in the comments section if there’s any clubs/projects/stadiums we’ve missed!