Italy: Fiorentina's problems drive modernization of another stadium

source:; author: Paulina Skóra

Italy: Fiorentina's problems drive modernization of another stadium Although a solution has been found in recent days regarding where Fiorentina will play their matches in the 2024/2025 season, the renovation of Franchi stadium continues to stir up emotions. There are heated discussions in the City Council regarding the financing of this investment.


Time for Padovani

In the upcoming season, Fiorentina, even if they qualify for European competitions, will still play at Stadio Artemio Franchi. Thanks to the new organization, work will first be carried out in the Fiesole sector and in parts of the Maratona and Tribuna sectors. The expected start date for the main part of the investment is June 1t. However, in the 2025/2026 season, Fiorentina will most likely have to leave Franchi due to advanced work. A rugby stadium located almost opposite Viola's current home is being prepared as a temporary facility. Padovani requires extensive renovation to obtain federation approval for hosting Serie A matches.

Interested companies have already submitted bids for the expansion of the Padovani stadium. The tender will be decided in March, and construction will begin in April. In the fall, the city allocated €10 million for the renovation of the facility, but these funds will only be sufficient for the reconstruction of a permanent covered stand and the construction of a temporary stand on the other side for a total of 7,000 spectators, player facilities, and a press area. To achieve a total of 15,000 seats (with two additional temporary stands) and to adapt the facility for Serie A matches, €4.4 million is still needed. During the work, rugby matches will be played on the Davide Astori fields located just in front of the Padovani stadium.

Stadio Artemio Franchi, Firenze© Sailko (CC BY 3.0)

Councilors seek financing

However, some councilors express concern about the lack of dialogue with Fiorentina and the government, as well as uncertainty about the funds needed for the renovation of Franchi and Padovani stadiums.

To date, the economic framework of the investment foresees funding of around €150 million. The structure of the works planned in the main part and the first optional part corresponds to the currently available financing. Thanks to these loans, the stadium renovation and its use for sports events and more are possible, said Cosimo Guccione. A loan of €10 million will be taken out for the Padovani stadium. The sports facility is planned to be rebuilt to accommodate 7-8 thousand seated spectators. Already during the ongoing tendering process, proposals were requested for a maximum of 15,000 seats, even for additional sections, and today we are also verifying a solution for 18,000.

A vote was held in the chamber regarding the currently missing €5 million to ensure Padovani's ability to host Serie A matches. Councilors Antonella Bundu and Dmitrij Palagi requested a solution to be prepared from the institution's own funds, and therefore the entire amount should be paid by the administration, which already provides the initial €10 million. According to La Nazione, this proposal was rejected. However, there is another way out of this situation. If Fiorentina were to move to Padovani, renaming the stadium (as was done in Cagliari for the temporary arena next to Sant'Elia) would guarantee financing for the works without Fiorentina investing a penny. Sponsorship will only come about if all parties involved agree to it and a relevant agreement is signed.

Stadio Artemio Franchi, Firenze© groundhopping_damenklo

Mayor's boast

However, Florence Mayor Dario Nardella seems unconcerned about finances and proudly announces his investments to the world. Franchi will be a beautiful stadium worthy of the history of our city because we must think on a large scale. It will be one of the most modern stadiums in Europe. Padovani, on the other hand, will be the most beautiful rugby stadium in all of Italy.