Cagliari to scale down venue plans



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Cagliari Stadium update April 2020 Image: Cagliari Calcio

The Italian football club based in Cagliari, Italy – Cagliari Calcio – has decided to scale down new stadium plans as COVID-19 leaves a trail of death in the European country.

The Serie A club President Tommaso Giulini has revealed that the Italian football club’s new facility will not enjoy additional commercial spaces as planned due to the tough economic climate caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Italy has been bruised and battered by the deadly virus with 21,645 deaths reported to date and 165,155 coronavirus cases. The country entered lockdown on March 9 and will remain under lockdown till May 3. Serie A (a professional league competition for football clubs located at the top of the Italian football league system) like other major football leagues across Europe, is currently suspended and it remains unclear when the season will resume.

The football club hopes to begin work on its new stadium – Nuovo Stadio Cagliari – next year, with a tentative delivery date having been set for 2024. The 25,200-seat stadium will be built on the site of Stadio Sant’Elia, the club’s former residence. The club’s present home facility is Sardegna Arena in Cagliari.

Cagliari has been playing at the temporary Sardegna Arena since the 2017-18 seasons after the Stadio Sant’Elia was torn down with the objective of building it anew.

The new stadium site was all set to include commercial space and revamp work on the nearby canal but looking at the economic destruction and scores of human lives taken due to coronavirus, Giulini has announced plans to scale back this vision.

“I feel like saying that, in a time when we fear a recession and hope for a recovery, we cannot think of new commercial spaces. Today, we must support our traders, our small businesses,” he told mediapersons.

“I hope that the Region and the Mayor will agree with our decision not to make commercial space in order to have a balanced economic-financial plan. The sooner the Region will confirm, the sooner we will be able to design the stadium,” Giulini said.

Cagliari’s plans for a new stadium were approved by the city council in November 2019. It came after the city council had previously voted in favor of advancing a new vision for a 25,200-seat stadium that can be expanded up to 30,000.

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