Italy: Como will play at home. Will they have time to rebuild?

source:; author: Jakub Ducki

Italy: Como will play at home. Will they have time to rebuild? The team from the north of Lombardy is returning to the top division in Italy after 22 years. Despite a stadium that does not meet Serie A requirements, Como have planned what to do to play next season's matches at the lakeside arena.


Exception working in their favour

Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia does not meet Serie A league requirements. This is a fact and everyone is aware of it. The problem is first and foremost the capacity, which according to the regulations must be at a minimum of 12,000 seats. Currently, less than 8,000 seats are allowed in the Como stadium. However, there is one detail in the rules that will work in the favour of the club from Lombardy.

The provision for 12,000-seater stands can be waived under certain conditions. In Como's case, the deviation will be enforced automatically. With a quick peek into the regulations, the Larians will be able to play in a stadium with 10,000 spectators next season. How is this possible? An exception is provided for facilities built in municipalities with a population of less than 100,000 people and the games involve a football team, based or with territorial roots in the same municipality, advancing to the said championship for the first time in the last twenty years. The recipe dates back to 2005, but seems to have been written almost exclusively for Como by then. In short - it would be a crime not to take advantage of this situation. One question remains, however. Which path will the club from Lombardy take?

Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia© comofootball

Two paths

At this point, slightly more than 3,000 additional seats should be added. There are two projects on the table that deal specifically with the unused sector. The first: the demolition of the destroyed, concrete structure of the old stands and the construction of a new tube stand, such as the curva azzurra. The advantage of this project, although temporary, concerns time and cost. The disadvantage is related to permits: Sinigaglia is a historic venue and subject to inspection of state authority.

The other: structural work on the current concrete stand to make it compliant and safe. A much more expensive and definitely time-consuming option, but one that could be seriously considered if combined with Como's future stadium project. However, here timeframes and institutional relations come into play. The new Serie A season already starts on August 17.

Another planned intervention: the widening of the visitors' stand. Together with the installation of the seats on the right side of the structure - looking at it frontally - and the arrangement of the lower section. When it comes to the mandatory big screen, there is no problem: the regulations provide exceptions for venues that have structural limitations like Sinigaglia.

But the important game is also played outside the venue. The safety criteria for the division of opposing teams' fans are being raised significantly. Como will have to replace all current dividing gates with higher and stronger barriers. The security along the entire area will have to be changed to new, much safer ones. The work to be done is numerous and important, but nothing is impossible.

Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia© comofootball

What if it doesn't work out?

The aim is to avoid the Como team being forced to find a venue, in another city, to play their first home matches. The coming weeks will therefore be crucial. Also because the documentation for the improvements made to the arena must be submitted by June 4. At the same time, Como will also have to identify a possible alternative stadium, should the renovation work on Sinigaglia not be completed in time.

One of the arenas being considered is Stadio Giovanni Zini in Cremona. It is used by the 4th Serie B team, US Cremonese. The team has recorded episodes in Serie A on several occasions, and they may end up there this time too, as they are currently playing in the play-offs for the top division. In the 1988/89 season, the stadium had the opportunity to host the return match of the Italian Cup final between Sampdoria Genoa and Napoli.

The other arena is Stadio Silvio Piola in Novara. The Serie C team does not impress, but has a good chance of staying in Serie C. Novara Calcio and the women's section of Juventus Turin play their matches at the stadium. In addition, the venue also hosts international matches of the Italian women's national team and the U21 national team. Apparently, one of Como's options could also be to go... abroad.

Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia© comofootball