The die is cast: ‘Viola’ home revamp certain



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ACF Fiorentina stadium update August 2020 Image: Sapeur OSB

The City Council of Florence has given the green light to a resolution to go ahead with the repurposing work of Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence, Italy, which serves as the home arena of Serie A football club Fiorentina. The revamp work will be implemented through wider development of the Campo di Marte area in which the stadium sits.

The Stadio Artemio Franchi is a football stadium in Florence, Italy. The stadium was temporarily used as the host of Italy’s Six Nations matches from 2012.

Florence Mayor Dario Nardella said the resolution aims to “give a signal of concreteness and speed” to the “construction of a new stadium in the City”, following the collapse earlier this year of a plan to build a new venue at the Mercafir site.

The Council’s objective is to modify the Franchi into a stadium boasting capacity of around 42,000 that would enable it to stage international events. The Municipality of Florence will insert the redevelopment of Campo di Marte and the Franchi in the Municipal Operational Plan which will be greenlighted by June 2021.

If this is done, it will not be required to approve a variant (the POC is the urban planning tool that identifies and regulates interventions for the protection and enhancement, organization and transformation of the territory to be carried out over a period of five years).

The Municipality will begin to operate within the POC to insert the intended uses for the areas outside the redeveloped stadium which will represent the so-called works in support of the investment that the private individual will make to renovate the Franchi stadium.

Nardella informed that the areas lying in the vicinity of the Franchi will be developed into commercial, tourist accommodation and other “economically relevant” developments in order to support the private investment needed for the venue.

“We accelerate the procedure to be ready when the amendments in Parliament are eventually approved. In any case, the die is cast, as far as we are concerned in Florence the stadium is the Franchi and on this we will concentrate all our strength,” Mayor Nardella added.

In March, Fiorentina confirmed it would not participate in the public tender for land earmarked for a new facility at the Mercafir site, as the club’s President, Rocco Commisso, stated he remained committed to developing a new home in the local area, despite the challenges coming up in the form of laws in the country.

The Serie A club confirmed its decision after it earlier put forward multiple concerns over the proposed site, stating that if cost and timing issues were not addressed its willingness to pursue the project would “quickly fade”.

The Mercafir area, a food and beverage market in north-eastern Florence, had been identified for the stadium, with the proposal seeing the land divided in two. The stadium would have occupied the southern part of the land, with a new market being developed in the north.

Fiorentina has played at the Stadio Artemio Franchi since it opened its gates in 1931 and efforts to either revamp the facility or build a new stadium picked up momentum after the club was taken over by Italian-American businessman Commisso in June 2019.

In September 2019, fresh plans were put forward for the reconfiguration of the Franchi involving the formation of a “stadium inside the stadium”. In his March letter, Commisso touched on the potential rehabilitation of the stadium.

The existing sports facilities will not be touched, but the so-called ‘Campini’ area (home to the current Fiorentina sports center) could accommodate part of the new commercial structures.

The Municipality of Florence plans to build with the taxpayers’ money a huge parking spot. The sustainable factor will play a crucial role while redeveloping the arena.

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