Calcio begs Government for new stadiums

The football authorities in Italy have sent a joint letter to the Government asking for simpler laws to refurbish or build new stadiums.

The situation has been debated for decades now, as most of the arenas in Italy were last given revamps for the 1990 World Cup.

New, simplified laws have been requested and promised for months, but are yet to fully be implemented, and foreign investors such as Roma owners the Friedkins and Fiorentina patron Rocco Commisso are increasingly frustrated that they cannot get anything done.

Today, CONI President Giovanni Malagò, FIGC President Gabriele Gravina and Lega Serie A President Paolo Dal Pino sent a long joint letter to the Government requesting an intervention to resolve the ‘complex’ process for approving refurbishment of stadiums.

“We must point out and denounce the obsolete and dire condition of the sporting infrastructure in our country, which absolutely cannot be compared to other stadiums in Europe.

“Italy is behind England, Germany and Spain in terms of average revenue per game, spectators, modernity of stadiums and number of new arenas built over the last 20 years.

“The homes of football are no longer welcoming for our fans and need a profound renovation that can no longer be procrastinated.

“It’s requested loudly by many clubs, who are stalled by bureaucracy that prevents them to invest and innovate, even if it would benefit the entire Italian sporting system.

“The average time required to obtain the authorisation to build a new stadium in Italy ranges from 8-10 years, which is vastly more than the European benchmark of 2-3 years.

“A new generation of stadiums would bring immediate advantages in terms of jobs, revitalisation of the urban areas, new sources of revenue, extra fiscal payments to the State, an increase in security and therefore reduction of violent incidents with a general improvement in the image of Italian sport.”

The letter included a report drawn up by Deloitte showing that new stadiums could bring €4.5m in new investments, which over a 10-year period could generate €25.5m in new revenue for various Italian economic sectors.

The report even claims there could be a 75 per cent cut in violent incidents around football matches.