Stadio Druso

Capacity5 539
624 (Away section)
Country Italy
ClubsFC Südtirol
Other names Drusus-Stadion (in German)
Inauguration 1930
Design Angelo Rossi (1930), Michele Lettieri (late 1960s.), Dejaco + Partner, gmp Architekten (2019–2022)
Address Viale Trieste, 19, 39100 Bolzano


Stadio Druso – stadium description

What is the history of Stadio Druso?

When was Stadio Druso opened?

The Stadio Druso was opened in 1930, with the facility designed by Angelo Rossi. At the time, the stadium had a football pitch surrounded by a running track and other athletics facilities. On the west side, a covered main stand was built, which combined rationalistic and monumental styles. On the opposite side stood a second, uncovered stand.

The construction of the new stadium was part of the urban transformation that was taking place in Bolzano in the era of Italian fascism. A swimming pool complex (Lido di Bolzano), opened in 1932, was also built behind the southern curve of the running track, which together with the stadium formed a small sports and leisure centre.

How did the Stadio Druso get its name?

The new stadium was named after the Roman military commander of ancient times, Drusus the Elder, portrayed by fascist propaganda as the founding father of the city and the conqueror of the hostile Germans.

What was the subsequent fate of Stadio Druso?

During the late period of World War II, the stadium was used by the German army as a place to hold prisoners, mainly Italian soldiers.

At the end of the 1960s, the eastern stand was rebuilt, designed by Michele Lettieri, and given a distinctive reinforced concrete roof made up of parabolic segments, inspired by the canopy of the stands of the Zarzuela race course in the Madrid suburbs.

The technical condition of the building deteriorated over time. In the 1990s, even the main stand was periodically closed as it was considered a safety hazard.

What events have taken place at Stadio Druso?

For years, Bolzano Calcio footballers (since 1996 as FC Bolzano 1996) played their matches at the stadium. In 2017, however, this club completely ceased operations. The facility also served other clubs and amateur competitions, as well as athletics and American football.

Three times the Giro d'Italia stage finish took place at the stadium (in 1949, 1952 and 1953, each time with Fausto Coppi as the winner). Concerts have also been held here (Laura Pausini and Tina Turner, among others, have performed at the Stadio Druso), although these have been hosted more often by the Palaonda hall since the 1990s.

In 2000, after promotion to Serie C2 (4th tier), FC Südtirol players moved into the stadium after relocating from Bressanone. At the time, the facility underwent modernisation, which involved, among other things, rebuilding the steps and replacing the roof on the main stand. After the installation of the seats, the capacity of the stadium was set at around 3,000 spectators.

What names were given to the stands at Stadio Druso?

On February 14, 2002, on the occasion of the match between the Italian and German Under-18 national teams, the stands of the Stadio Druso were given new names, honouring two footballers associated with Bolzano. The main stand, previously known as Tribuna Trieste (after the name of the street running in front of it – Viale Trieste) was named after Christian Zanvettor (Tribuna Zanvettor), and Albano Canazza (Tribuna Canazza) became the patron of the east stand (earlier known as Tribuna Isarco, after the name of the river flowing behind it).

When did the last modernisation of Stadio Druso take place?

In the second decade of the 21st century, there was increasing talk of the need to upgrade the stadium to meet licensing requirements, especially as FC Südtirol had ambitions to play at least at Serie B level. In 2016, the city took full ownership of the stadium and adopted the Stadio Druso redevelopment concept, which was prepared by architects from Dejaco + Partner and gmp Architekten.

The redevelopment began on April 15, 2019, with work completed by the end of 2021, although the handover took place on April 16, 2022 (eight days later FC Südtirol celebrated their first ever promotion to Serie B after an away win against Triestina). The modernisation included the reconstruction of the stands and the removal of the athletics track, giving the venue a football-specific character.

The main stand was enlarged and brought closer to the playing field. The stand also gained additional sections on the sides, as well as a new canopy. However, its historic facade from 1930 was retained.

The reconstructed east stand received new, higher rows of spectators and was also extended with additional sections on the sides, reaching the entire length of the pitch. The stand has retained its distinctive reinforced concrete roof, although the additional sectors are now covered by a flat canopy, corresponding with the new roof of the main stand.

The modernisation cost €17.7 million, of which ⅔ was covered by the provincial government and the rest was provided by the city. The extension of both stands increased the capacity of the stadium to over 5,500 spectators. The second part of the plan, which includes the construction of new stands behind the gates to increase the capacity to 10,000 spectators, has not yet been implemented.

What does the Stadio Druso look like?

Stadio Druso is located near the mouth of the river Talvery to Isarco, about one kilometre from the city centre. The appearance of the venue has clearly changed during the recent redevelopment (2019–2022), when, among other things, it lost the athletics track. The stadium has two free-standing stands located along the playing field, with a total capacity of 5,539 people. The pitch is equipped with a natural grass turf with a heating system.

The first rows of seating in both stands are visibly raised in relation to the pitch. Both stands are covered and enclosed by walls on the sides. Most of the roof of the eastern stand (Tribuna Canazza) is a characteristic reinforced concrete structure made up of parabolic segments, built at the end of the 1960s on the model of the canopy at the Zarzuela race course near Madrid.

The auditorium is equipped with plastic seats, arranged in a mosaic pattern. The dominant colours in the stadium are red, white, grey and black. Four lighting masts with LED floodlights stand in the corners. Behind the former curve of the running track on the north side stands the sports hall (Palamazzali) and on the opposite side is the indoor swimming pool (Piscina "Karl Dibiasi").

The main stand on the west side (Tribuna Zanvettor) has retained its historic façade from 1930, with characteristics of a rationalist and monumental style.

The main stand provides space for a business area and 10 skyboxes, as well as media rooms. The stand is also equipped with catering kiosks and toilets, as well as all the other necessary facilities: changing rooms, referees' and delegates' rooms, a conference room, a medical room, an anti-doping control room, as well as storage, technical rooms and offices.

The eastern stand also provides kiosks, toilets and storage facilities. A visitor supporters' section is also located here. In addition, it contains four additional changing rooms, designed for amateur teams, for training or in the event of tournaments with a larger number of teams.