Cagliari seal the deal with Sportium


Cagliari Stadium update May 2020 Image: Cagliari Calcio & Manica Architecture

Italian Serie A football club Cagliari has reached an agreement with Sportium to deliver the final design for its new stadium.

Cagliari Calcio, commonly referred to as Cagliari, is an Italian football club based in Cagliari, Sardinia in Italy. The club currently plays in Serie A.

Sportium assists sports clubs in transforming their facilities into profit centers and sport business multipliers. Sportium is aimed at the Serie A, Serie B and Lega Pro football clubs, basketball, volleyball, hockey, rugby and all other disciplines that need a sports facility.

The above development marks the latest step in a project that dates back to 2015, when the first feasibility study was conducted. Cagliari has been playing at the temporary Sardegna Arena since the 2017-18 seasons after the Stadio Sant’Elia (home of Cagliari Calcio) was closed with a view to being pulled down and completely rebuilt.

After a guide plan for the Sant’Elia was greenlighted in November, the project has since moved forward with Cagliari President Tommaso Giulini revealing in April that the new stadium will not enjoy additional commercial spaces as was earlier planned due to the tough economic climate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to throwing almost the whole world out of gear.

During the past seven months, Monitor Deloitte, part of consultancy giant Deloitte, has worked to revisit and rewrite the economic and financial plan and define the industrial plan of the new stadium, which Cagliari states will seek to create an “exceptional arena” in the global market, which will demonstrate innovation, sustainability and will contribute to the development of the local region.

Sportium is a company owned by Progetto CMR, iDeas and B&L Real Estate. Manica Architecture will spearhead the design work for the new stadium, which will boast capacity of around 25,000, expandable to 30,000.

In April 2018, Cagliari approved a proposal from Sportium to develop its new stadium but was forced to revise plans amid the Italian Football Federation’s (FIGC) proposed bid for UEFA Euro 2024, which eventually landed in Germany’s lap.

Commenting on its vision for the new stadium, Cagliari said, “The new stadium in Cagliari will be the pride of the whole island and the first real strength of a team capable of representing it in the best way.”

The statement added, “A fortress that will intimidate opponents who will come from overseas, an exceptional location where the team will find a powerful boost, in total harmony with the spirit of its proud people. This is the result of brilliant architecture that, by using modern technologies, immediately makes the stadium appear to be an almost impregnable fortress.”

Manica formally left Sportium’s fold as a partner this year, but remains actively involved in leading the design of the new Cagliari stadium with them. It will also continue to work with Sportium on future projects in Italy.

Commenting on the latest vision behind the stadium, Manica Architecture President, David Manica, told mediapersons, “There is one update to the project. The design originally merged the retail shopping alongside the stadium east façade, but the City later moved towards a masterplan that separates the stadium and retail component in order to offer increased development opportunities for the mixed-use commercial zone that strengthened its connection back to the historic city center.”

Manica is leading the design of the stadium component while Sportium is supporting the stadium development and leading the masterplan and mixed-use development design,” he added.

Cagliari informed that the final project will be concluded next month. A public tender process is expected to take place next year for the construction contract. The new stadium is expected to take two years to come up.

“In 2021 there will be a public tender for the assignment of the concession for the construction and the presentation of the executive project. Since the start of construction, the duration of the works is estimated to take two years.” the club wrote in its statement.

This reaffirms the official timeline which – pre-COVID-19 – had also suggested work on site would begin in 2021 and be delivered in 2024 at the latest. The site’s Guide Plan was given the green light in November last year. These decisions made way for construction to begin.

Called Cagliari Arena at the moment, the stadium will replace the historical Stadio Sant’Elia, standing just beside the interim Sardegna Arena. Nominal capacity of 25,200 has already been approved for expansion to net 30,000, should Italy win the hosting rights for Euro 2028. However, it is still not clear whether coronavirus will cast its long shadow in the country’s bid initiative.

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