Calls for new stadium laws

The Italian Government has been urged to include new laws allowing for investment and development in stadiums as part of a post-pandemic stimulus package.

Italy is one of the European countries hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis and it badly hurt an economy that was already struggling.

Now that the country is restarting after the lockdown, the Government is preparing a stimulus package nicknamed the ‘Shock Plan.’

Several politicians, including former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, have publicly called for the package to include removal of strict limitations on renovating or building football stadiums.

Clubs including Roma, Lazio and Fiorentina have expressed their frustration at the current rules, which bar them from renovating existing structures and make it very difficult to get permission for new arenas.

“Considering the situation that has been created, football is an instrument to help the economy get moving again. Football is economy and a stadium creates revenue,” said Renzi.

“It’s essential we remove the urban development limitations. It’s unthinkable that San Siro can be renovated, but not the Stadio Franchi in Florence.”

Some of the issues are with the fact a stadium like the Stadio Franchi in Florence is so old that it is protected under laws meant for buildings of architectural importance.

The Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, however, had so much restructuring work done for the 1990 World Cup that it could be torn down.

“A new project would maintain part of the previous stadium in order to preserve its memory and architectural tradition, but restructuring would remove the problem of using new square footage and avoid the decay of arenas such as the Stadio Flaminio in Rome,” added Senator Rosa Maria De Giorgi.

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