Italian modern football (soccer) infrastructure has practically been built and renovated around the World Cup of 1990 and some stadiums even date back to the World Cup of 1934. During the Italian fascist years (1922-1943) many of the football stadiums, which are still in use in its original or renovated form, were built. Such are the examples of the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia in Bergamo, the Olympic Stadium of Rome, the Olympic Stadium of Turin, and the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence.
Stadio Olimpico di Torino – Renovated for the ’06 Winter Olympics
Italy has hosted world class sports events such as the Summer Olympics of 1960, the Winter Olympics of 2006, the European Football Championships of 1968 and 1980 and the already mentioned Football World Cups of 1934 and 1990. The stadiums currently used for the Serie A championship, Italian top football division, have played important roles in these events. We have compiled information to produce a table in which we analyze the infrastructure of all the current football teams playing in the top division.
Posters of ’90 and ’34 Football World Cup
Serie A Table Analysis. (click on image for larger resolution)
As a result, we can clearly see that most of the stadiums in use today have a direct relationship to one of the major athletic events. The World Cup of 1990 has defined the modern infrastructure of Italian football. Juventus F.C has been the only team which has built a stadium after the 1990 World Cup. The Juventus Stadium was opened in 2011 with a capacity of 41,000 seats. Previously, Juventus F.C. played at the Stadio Delle Alpi, which was built for the 1990 World Cup with a capacity of 69,041 seats.
The 1990 World Cup was played in 12 stadiums in 12 cities:
Bari: Stadio San Nicola. Designed by architect Renzo Piano.
Bologna: Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.
Cagliari: Stadio Sant’Elia.
Firenze: Stadio Artemio Franchi (Stadio Comunale). Designed by Pier Luigi Nervi.
Genova: Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Milano: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Napoli: Stadio San Paolo.
Palermo: Stadio La Favorita.
Roma: Stadio San Paolo. Designed by Carlo Cocchia.
Torino: Stadio Delle Alpi.
Udine: Stadio Friuli. Designed by Lorenzo Giacomuzzi Moore.
Verona: Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi.
Renovation of Stadio San Siro for ’90 Football World Cup
A.S. Roma, has announced in 2012 that they are planning to build a new stadium for their team. In 2011 A.S. Roma was bought by an American group of Investors lead by Thomas R. DiBendetto. Their new stadium is planned to be built by 2016 with a capacity of 60,000 spectators. While Udinese Calcio is currently undergoing a major renovation of their Stadio Friuli. The decision was made after Italy was not chosen to organize the European Football Championships of 2012 and 2016, which included a renovation of Stadio Friuli.
The athletic infrastructure of Rome also benefited from the 1960 Olympics. Besides the Olympic Stadium, other structures, which are still in use, were built. Such structures are Palazzo dello Sport, Stadio Flamini, Palazzetto dello Sport, and the recently demolished Velodromo Olimpico. The Engineer Pier Luigi Nervi, played an important role in many of the structures built for these Olympic Games.
Palazzetto dello Sport – Rome
Another significant event will be hosted in Milan in 2015, this is for the Universal Exposition with its theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. The city of Milan is currently undergoing the construction of many of the pavilions and the necessary infrastructure for this event. The Expo 2015 will take place in 1.1 km2 in the fairgrounds of the Rho-Pero area, which is the location of the Fiera Milano-Rho which hosts many events throughout the year. The most important event being the Salone del Mobile, Milan
Furniture and Craft Fair. The main exhibition hall was designed by Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas in 2005.
Masterplan for Expo 2015. (click on image for larger resolution)
However, the story and tradition of Milan’s fairs and exhibition events date back to the World’s Fair of 1906. At that time the Fair was held near the grounds of Sempione Park. In 1923 in the old Alfa Romeo factory, Fiera Milano opened its permanent grounds which hosted the main exhibition events until the new fairgrounds were opened in 2005 in Rho-Pero.
With the current economic crisis, there are many uncertainties to what the final product will be. However, the current government of Enrico Letta has committed in making this event a success. Many visitors from all over the world are expected during and prior to the 6 months of the fair. Previously, the Expo 2101 in Shangai had a record number of 73 million visitors with the participation of 250 countries. So far 138 countries have confirmed their participation in the Milan 2015 Expo.