After Juventus and Udinese this time Empoli presented their ambitious plan to privatise and improve the stadium. Again – losing the running track and not increasing capacity too much…
Empoli FC proposed a complete transformation of Stadio Carlo Castellani, which would see both existing stands (along the sides) retained. West one would be expanded and improved by additional infrastructure. East side, nearly unchanged, is the reference for two new grandstands behind goals, which would both reach the same height as the east side.
Of course the conversion would see this stadium change from multi-use to football-specific. Both new ends would be built right behind goals, positioning fans even closer to the field than current (and upgraded) grandstands on the sides.
That’s why the blueprint of this stadium is nearly square. The new stands will be connected with existing ones by small corner sections except for north-east corner, where there’s no enough room.
Capacity is planned to reach 17,500, including brand new skyboxes. Empoli foresees a possible league minimum of 20,000, which is why possible expansion is part of the plan, even if just over the 20,000 mark.
According to initial renderings the stadium would be covered with modern outer wrap. Interestingly, the wrap might also cover one of the roads, protecting media or VIP guests from elements already at the parking site. However, these elements seem to be prone to change.
The entire project should not consume more than €11 million ($12m). It should be covered entirely privately and the club’s business model sees vast majority covered by investors leasing space under the two new stands. Vast commercial use is planned there and supposed partners are already negotiating their participation.