Italy: Bologna's new stadium on hold?

source: [TS]; author: Tomasz Sobura

Italy: Bologna's new stadium on hold? The process of building a stadium in Italy often does not go beyond the design presentation phase. It is very possible that such a fate will meet the reconstruction of Stadio Renato Dall'Ara. The latest reports on this matter are not very optimistic.


The Conference of Services adjourned. Procedures on hold

The design of a thorough modernisation of the venue was presented at the beginning of 2019. Almost three years have passed since then, and the arena has not been built. What is worse, the works have not even begun.

In the middle of the year, it seemed that the works were really close to starting. The club was climbing the steps of the extremely tedious bureaucratic ladder in Italy, and in May, the final design of the facility was submitted to the municipality. The document included amendments made in 2020.

One of the last formalities was a positive outcome from the Conference of Services. Among them were the prefecture, the health office, the fire department, the environmental protection service and the energy company. These are the same entities that participated in the Preliminary Conference of Services that was successfully completed by the club.

Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, Bologna© Bologna FC, GAU Arena

Unfortunately for Bologna FC, these institutions have not (yet) given the green light for the construction of the ground. Mayor Matteo Lepore announced on December 7 that the Conference of Services had not been concluded and its work on the stadium had been postponed. Lepore also added: "We will close it when we are ready."

Without it, it is impossible to take another step forward, i.e. to announce a tender for the contractor of the facility. Thus, the plan of Bologna management to start construction work in the summer or autumn of 2022 will not be put into practise. Works will also not start in December 2022, as was also reported this year.

When will the temporary stadium be built?

Moreover, in the spring of 2022, the previously announced construction of the venue for 16,500 spectators in the area of the CAAB fairgrounds will not begin. There are still a lot of urban planning procedures to be overcome in this topic.

The team would play at this facility until the completion of the new Stadio Renato Dall'Ara. However, the initial deadline for putting the temporary stadium into service, scheduled for December 2022, will not be met.

Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, Bologna
© Bologna FC, GAU Arena

The creation of a temporary venue is a necessary condition for the commencement of works at the main stadium. It is said that it may be possible to build a temporary ground by summer 2023 and then start the works at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara. However, it seems that these are actually more speculations than real plans.

It also turns out that the cost of building a new arena, estimated at € 100 million, will not be kept. The designers of the stadium are already making it clear that the rise in the prices of building materials in world markets and the disruption of the supply chain caused by the pandemic will significantly exceed the budget that was established in 2019.

It is not known how much the new ground will cost. Work is underway to establish a new cost estimate. Perhaps there will be further changes in the design to cut expenses. Nobody knows that now, and the situation is highly changeable. The city authorities have already announced that they will not contribute more than € 40 million to the construction of the facility.

Author: Tomasz Sobura