City Council nod to new Verona stadium amidst dissent


Verona new stadium rendering - Dec. 2019 update Image: Cronaca verona (twitter)

The municipal council of Verona in Italy on Wednesday evening gave its nod on the resolution for the declaration of “public interest” on the new stadium project. Twenty-two votes were made in favor and six against a new football stadium in the Italian city.

The Administration accepted 30 orders of the day, 23 of the majority and seven of the Opposition.

The new stadium is expected to accommodate 27,000 fans and will come up in place of the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi – home of Hellas Verona and Chievo Verona football clubs. The new stadium has been welcomed by Hellas but not Chievo.

Explains Mayor of Verona, Federico Sboarina, “The objective is to create a work that can offer Verona not only a state-of-the-art facility in line with the city’s growth but also a redevelopment project that will develop the neighborhood and not the other way round. No one wants to confront the citizens. Once the public interest is approved, we will explain to the citizens how things really stand. This administration does not believe in presenting ideas in the garb of law, but believes in vox populi.”

Several other people also debated on the upcoming development:

Michele Bertucco of Sinistra in Comune begs to differ, “This project lacks transparency and participation by the community. There is no interaction between the municipality and the stadium quarter and enough homework has also not been done on the viability of the project and the impact it will have on the area. This is a profoundly wrong decision that makes fun of the city.”

Carla Padovani of Mixed Group (a Parliamentary group active in both houses of the Italian Parliament) opined, “It is imperative to understand if building a new stadium is in “public interest” and would go on to benefit the city. The project presented overlooks the actual needs of the local people and most pertinently the habits of Italian supporters – who are more interested in going to the stadium to watch the game and is not much bothered about the added attractions like eating in the restaurant or sleeping in the hotel.”

Stefano Vallani of Pd (social-democratic political party in Italy) stated, “Life in the stadium district is not liveable on match days. How viable a new stadium will be when a proper study has not been done? Things will not become better. It is certainly not a welcome decision that the new stadium will go into private hands.”

Federico Benini, also of Pd, remarked, “For two years now this administration has remained firm on many important issues of the city without taking into consideration the citizens’ interests. And, now, in a few weeks time, the Council will adopt a resolution on the new stadium. Only the fans’ interests have been looked into and not that of the citizens.”

Supporting the project, Roberto Simeoni of Lega Nord (a political party in Italy) said, “This is a project that can positively contribute to the improvement of the stadium area, with solutions designed not only for the construction of a new plant but also for the development of the whole area.”

Elisa La Paglia of Pd commented, “It is a project that will remain a pipe dream because the numbers presented by the promoters are not feasible. If they really knew how things stand, the first to object about the new stadium would be the fans, who would find themselves paying for quintupled passes, with higher costs than what Juventus fans pay.”

Mauro Bonato of First Verona also had reservations on the new development, “A resolution on which one cannot vote because it lacks total transparency and the citizens have not participated in the process. I expected that all possible risks would have been assessed before voting in public interest.”

Holding up a positive picture, Laura Bocchi of Northern League said, “I am convinced that this stadium is an opportunity and the best part is that it will not cost anything to the community. It is always a positive development when we can achieve improvement interventions without any expense burden. Moreover, with a new system in place, it will be possible to implement projects that take into consideration the needs of the physically disadvantaged people who cannot otherwise attend a match.”

Anna Grassi of Lega Nord also supported the development, “If the Credito Sportivo has intervened it is thanks to the Lega Nord. A result that gives us economic guarantees to support this project and its public utility. This is an intervention that will surely be an added value for the neighborhood and for citizens. To streamline matters, we have asked for an inspection commission to be set up open to citizenship.”

Marco Zandomeneghi of Verona Tomorrow, explained, “It is only a feasibility study that will have to undergo different levels of design test before getting translated into reality. We have demanded streamlining of the traffic when cars enter or leave the parking space; if possible, to use a single curve for the ‘home’ teams in the provisional stadium; reuse of rubble for the new construction; and no financial contribution from investee companies.”

Matteo De Marzi of Beats for Verona spoke for the development, “The stadium is not just a requirement but an opportunity. Only after the approval of this resolution will it be possible to take into consideration projects and economic plans. People are not looking into the fact that with this intervention, we will make an overall improvement of the entire block of the stadium, with a structure buzzing with activity all year round.”

Anna Leso of Mixed Group stated, “We all understand that the old facility has worn out and a new one is required. But, the need of the hour is that the neighborhood needs street lights, better roads and more security for people. The scenario should not be as such that only if the new stadium comes up, will all these developments follow suit.”

Ciro Maschio of Fratelli d’ Italia party sums up, “The new stadium will be a great opportunity for our city, which will lead to the construction of a new, modern and secure stadium, which will reduce the occupied area in the neighborhood, redevelop the area, increase the green cover, and bring Verona to the forefront as regards sporting facilities, matching steps with the best European cities. The stadium law provides very precise procedures to guarantee the absolute seriousness and sustainability of the proposal.”

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