Italy: Fiorentina still hasn't found temporary stadium

source:; author: Paulina Skóra

Italy: Fiorentina still hasn't found temporary stadium In April of this year, renovation work on the historic Artemio Franchi stadium is supposed to begin. During the reconstruction, Fiorentina needs to find another stadium to play their home matches. However, none of the proposed solutions so far has been satisfactory to all parties involved, and an agreement has proven elusive. Has the matter reached a standstill?


Fiorentina wants to go to Empoli...

The renovation project of Stadio Artemio Franchi anticipates completion by early 2027, leaving the team "homeless" until then. A few days ago, a meeting took place in Florence, attended by representatives of Fiorentina and Empoli, a Lega Serie A delegate , mayors of both cities, and the president of Tuscany. Everyone is trying to solve the increasingly urgent problem. The previous best option for The Violets' authorities was to play at the Carlo Castellani stadium. Empoli is about 45 minutes from Florence, making it convenient for fans. Additionally, the facility meets Serie A requirements.

... but Empoli doesn't want Fiorentina

Mayor Brenda Barnini of Empoli has repeatedly denied the possibility of hosting Fiorentina in recent weeks. She maintained her position at the meeting on January 11. The mayor's concerns primarily revolve around public order. Empoli is not accustomed to hosting such a large number of fans, and there are fears of clashes between Fiorentina and Empoli supporters, who historically have a rivalry. However, this solution is not convincing even for the club from the capital of Tuscany. Despite the Artemio Franchi having a capacity of 43,147 seats, about 17,000 season tickets have been sold. In contrast, Stadio Carlo Castellani has a capacity of only 16,800 seats. If Fiorentina were to qualify for European competitions, the club would likely seek another venue to accommodate more fans and maximize revenue.

Design of Stadio Artemio Franchi© ACF Fiorentina

Could moving across the street be the solution?

Another proposal from the authorities in Florence is to place Fiorentina at the Padovani stadium, a few meters from the Franchi stadium, where rugby matches usually take place. However, the club opposes this possibility because the venue would need adaptation for Serie A matches. Currently, it is a modest stadium with around 2,000 seats. The municipality offered to invest €10 million to expand it to 8,000 seats. This is less than the required 12,000 seats, but due to the transitional situation, the federation would permit Serie A matches. However, an additional €5 million is needed for the expansion, and Fiorentina is unwilling to invest. Playing at a stadium with an 8,000-seat capacity after selling 17,000 season tickets would be a significant problem and result in substantial economic losses.

Delay in construction or move outside the region?

Italian media report that Fiorentina's CEO has suggested the team play outside the region, but it is not clear where. In the absence of solutions, I Viola plans to prolong playing at Franchi, postponing renovation work. Florence Mayor Dario Nardella said after the meeting that this is a possibility but did not provide estimates for the rescheduled work.

The Franchi reconstruction will be financed through the Complementary National Plan, a fund provided by the state. This plan is subject to several time constraints: work on the stadium must begin by March 31, 2024, and finish by December 31, 2026. If deadlines are not met, Fiorentina will lose €151 million unless an extension is granted for some reason. However, there is currently no information on that matter. If the renovation is to proceed as planned, one of the Franchi stadium stands must be closed by the end of January, followed by others, so that full-scale work can commence in April. In the coming weeks, further meetings will take place to finally resolve this issue.

Design of Stadio Artemio Franchi© ACF Fiorentina