Italy football club Cagliari to finally get a new home!


Cagliari Stadium update Jan 2020 Image: Cagliari Calcio / Manica

The Cagliari City Council in Italy has given its nod to a new local plan for the Italian football club Cagliari Calcio. As part of the plan, a new facility will be built for the club. If everything goes as per schedule, the development could see groundbreaking in 2021 and the 25,200-seat stadium will open its doors in 2024.

The Cagliari City Council voted in favor of the local plan for Sant’Elia and San Bartolomeo districts, which includes the long-awaited new stadium for the Italian Serie A side, Cagliari Calcio, based in Sardinia, Italy.

The club will be able to start work on the new stadium – which though will be built to hold 25,200 spectators – can be expanded to 30,000. It will come up on the site of Stadio Sant’Elia, their former home ground.

Mario Passetti, Cagliari’s General Director, commented, “After adoption of the plan in the city council there is 60 days for final approval. After this period, the club will be able to start the final executive planning.”

The up-to-date final design will be presented to the conference of services, which should complete its evaluation before the end of 2020. Once it gets the thumbs-up, tenders can be announced followed by pulling down the old facility and groundbreaking for the new arena.

If the development begins in 2021, it is expected that construction should end in 2024. If this happens, it will be a major delay – though expected – for Cagliari Calcio which was initially hoping that the new venue would be ready to move in by 2021.

Few guidelines have been set for the approved local plan that necessitated changes in design from the original plans. For example, in 2018, when the plans were first presented, a 14,700 sq m retail center was included in the design attached to the side of the venue. In the amended plan, though the size will remain the same, the retail centre will separate from the facility and will split into four interconnected buildings.

Meanwhile, Cagliari Calcio will continue to play at its makeshift venue Sardegna Arena, which the club has called ‘home’ since the 2017-18 seasons, after the Stadio Sant’Elia was closed and partially demolished in order to build a new facility.

Since the late 2000s, Cagliari has been trying to build a new stadium in lieu of the worn out Sant’Elia. They first set their sights on a site near Cagliari’s Elmas Airport in the north of the city and proposed a 23,500-seater which they named the Karalis Arena.

However, the development led to stiff opposition from the local aviation authorities, and Cagliari moved to a provisional venue in nearby Quartu, Stadio Is Arenas, and swore not to come back to Cagliari.

However, their new arena failed safety checks, and they moved back to Sant’Elia making minor restoration work. They finally decided to redevelop Sant’Elia, but in the end settled on demolishing the same and building an entire new stadium on the site.

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