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Cagliari City Council has finally approved planning permission for a new 21,000-seat stadium for Italian Serie B club Cagliari this week.

This ‘yes’ is the first crucial step towards construction of the new stadium, which the club is set to invest €55m (£44.5m/US$62.6m) into and in turn, hopes to sell the stadium’s naming rights to recoup some of this investment.

When announcing approval of the project, the Council cited the huge amount of positive public interest in the proposal as one of the main drivers for green-lighting the new stadium.

Thanks to this week’s vote, the project can now ‘officially’ kick off the process that will lead to the realisation of #lanostraCasa; an innovative project that focuses on the area, sport and the fans, and is notable for the redevelopment of the area, while delivering the highest standards of service, safety and environmental friendliness.

The club’s current Sant’Elia stadium is due to be demolished in May 2017 and the new structure – be compliant with UEFA Category 4 requirements – to built in its place and delivered by June 2019.

Cagliari Calcio is aiming to develop a new, modern, safe and sustainable stadium, together with a commercial area, creating an attractive complementary area adjacent to Cagliari’s city centre and the Mediterranean Sea. The stadium itself will include a fanshop, a museum, a ticketing centre, a dedicated kids area, Club offices, a conference centre, rooms for Cagliari Calcio youth players, some luxury rooms for first team players and one restaurant included in the hospitality area.

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The hospitality area will be 4,000sqm, located in the main stand, which will also feature more than 15 skyboxes, as well as one roof-top restaurant with pitch views and one club (skybar) with sea views.

The additional commercial area development (c.15,000sqm) will include a shopping mall, a Cagliari Calcio-branded sports bar, a sports medical and physiotherapy centre with wellness area and a sports centre.

Moreover, in front of the new stadium’s main stand, there will be: one training ground for 11 x 11 football, one for 7 x 7  football and one for 5-a-side football, together with two multifunctional sporting grounds for basketball, tennis, volleyball, etc., and a boxing and martial arts gym. These facilities will be available to the Club and to the local community.

New parking places will be created and the entire Sant’Elia area will be regenerated considering that the Municipality is currently pursuing multiple projects in order to improve the life quality of the neighbourhood.

Cagliari Calcio has developed the entire project with the support of B Futura, the infrastructural platform of Lega B, created precisely in order to assist Clubs throughout every steps of a new stadium development process.

B Futura works with a team of highly qualified partners providing advice in every aspect of the project. Those partners, all leaders in their markets, are: The Stadium Consultancy, McDermott Will&Emery, Repucom, Larry Smith, Eos Consulting Spa and Iniziativa.

The Head of B Futura, Lorenzo Santoni, said regarding the Cagliari City Council’s approval:

The project of the new Sant’Elia stadium is the first in Italy that follows the new Law 147 of 2013 iter, a Law that provides defined and certain timing of every phase of project development. The Council approval represents an important signal in a country, as Italy, that wants and need to renovate its sport venues. The hope is that Cagliari stadium example will represents an incentive for the other projects B Futura is developing with the municipalities and football Clubs of Pescara, Avellino, Crotone and Como.

 

This YouTube video shows some stunning pictures of the planned project.

 

AS Roma unveil new stadium campus

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The new home of AS Roma has been unveiled with plans for a premier state-of-the-art football stadium, incorporating the industry’s most sophisticated spectator technologies, security and fan amenities. With an intimate seating bowl of 52,500 seats, natural grass pitch, and a PTFE canopy covering 100% of the stadium seating, Woods Bagot design for the Stadio della Roma is set to become a category-defining football and multi-purpose entertainment venue for Italy and indeed Europe.

“The design draws visual cues from the world’s most historic spectator venue, the Roman Colosseum,” says Woods Bagot Sport Design Leader, Dan Meis. “For an architect who has spent much of his career designing stadiums, and most of his vacations in Italy, the Stadio della Roma truly is a project of a lifetime. Rome has an unparalleled architectural history. To be able to build anything there is a gift, to build a new home for AS Roma and the most passionate fans in football is heart stopping.”

The design features a state-of-the art steel and concrete seating bowl wrapped in a ‘floating’ stone scrim, evocative of the rhythmic facade of the famous arena; with polycarbonate clad roof is reminiscent in form of the historic retractable fabric canopy that once covered the upper tiers of the Colosseum. The result is an extremely dynamic and contemporary form, firmly grounded in the rich history of Roman architecture.

A distinctive feature of the design is the new ‘Curva Sud’. Long recognised as the section of the existing Stadio Olympico that is home to AS Roma’s ultra-supporters, the new stadium will have a steeply pitched, clearly delineated separate section of 14,800 seats, with a more ‘muscular’ and raw architecture to provide a clear and unquestionable identity as the heart of AS Roma fans.

The architecture enables the stadium to be easily configured to multiple stage configurations, including retractable stage canopies, rigging, and turf protection systems, providing extreme flexibility as a concert venue with an expansion capacity of 60,000. Stadio della Roma will be the first truly sustainable major sports venue in Europe that incorporates a carbon neutral footprint, maximum recycling capabilities and state-of-the-art renewable energy and conservation programmes.

Amplifying the game-day experience has been integral to the design. The new stadium’s sightlines and proximity to the pitch are designed to deliver a vivid and action-packed fan experience. Every seat will offer unparalleled views of the action; along with stadium-wide Wi-Fi capability and mobile connectivity. There will also be super-premium club seating section of 600 seats in the lower bowl with direct access to a pitch level club offering views of the teams as they exit and enter the pitch. Another special feature of the pitch level is a massive hydraulic lift allowing a dramatic entrance for the players during warm-up, reminiscent of the gladiatorial lifts in the historic Colosseum.

“It is very exciting to have such a significant project as my first stadium designed with Woods Bagot. Stadio della Roma will be one of Europe’s most sophisticated stadiums and will be groundbreaking in the inclusion of a significant ancillary development of restaurants, entertainment and training facilities, creating a 365 day destination,” says Meis.

Led by Meis, Woods Bagot is delivering the architecture for the stadium design with a dedicated design team based in Woods Bagot’s Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco studios.

“We are very proud to be associated with AS Roma, a major club with a long and proud history,” says Ross Donaldson, Woods Bagot Group Managing Director. “This project is an exemplar of design intelligence philosophy and is a landmark in the evolution of the firm and the ‘arrival’ of Woods Bagot in the global sporting arena.”

The stadium will be located at Tor di Valle, south-west of the historic city centre. Scheduled for the 2016-17 Serie A season, costs are estimated at US$400 million.


Cagliari seeks fourth stadium in 12 months

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Serie A football club Cagliari has written to the city’s council cancelling the club’s contract at the Stadio Is Arenas, the stadium which opened in the summer but has been closed on and off by officials for safety reasons.

The club moved out of the Stadio Sant’Elia in March last year, playing the remaining home games of the 2011/12 season at Trieste’s Stadio Nereo Rocco, nearly 700 miles away from the Sardinian capital.

On 14 February club president Massimiliano Cellino was among three men arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into the construction of the stadium.