Friday, 19 September 2008

Viola plan new stadium in 'Calcioland'

Fiorentina have today submitted ambitious plans to build a new stadium owned by the club.

Diego & Andrea Della ValleThe Viola have been enjoying a renaissance in recent years and are this season involved in the UEFA Champions League after a nine-year absence and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup last term.

The Stadio Artemio Franchi has been the Viola's home since 1931 but club owners Diego and Andrea Della Valle feel they deserve grander surroundings with a brand new, modern stadium being the centre point of a theme park devoted solely to football.

"This is a comprehensive project to create an area for sports, trade, social life and culture to all live together, with an eye for the future and young people, an idea to try to keep the city of Florence and Fiorentina at the top of Italian football and in the world," Honorary President Diego Della Valle explained during a press conference unveiling the project.

"We are guests in Florence, and love the city, so we want to pursue this initiative and to be able to enrich the city even more. We are presenting this project today, and now we await the response from Florence, the institutions and the business community, to determine when and how this project can be put into place."

Brother Andrea, club President, added: "We do not have a large stream of revenue from the television rights of big clubs, and Fiorentina without this money has already done a lot. But only with an ambitious project like this we can focus on the future.

"The stadium would still contain between 40,000 to 50,000 spectators as I don't think a stadium would improve the club's finances, but we have greater and more challenging targets.

"As regards the theme park, we would like it to be designed by specialists into a football version of 'EuroDisney'.

"We'd love to give Florence something 'new' - one more reason to visit the city and live in the area, and simultaneously have a long-term structure for the club," he added.

Progetto Viola
The 70-90 hectares of land will include a commercial centre, a shopping mall, streets of shops, restaurants, hotels, museums, art galleries, the "Calcioland" theme park – the first of its kind in the world, as well as the new stadium, gyms and training facilities dedicated exclusively to the Tuscan club.

The plans, worked on by Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas, are at an early stage and they still need to locate an area – most likely in the outskirts of Firenze, in the north-west. The cost of the project is yet to be calculated and it still needs the support of local politicians and the licenses to start building.

Diego added: "I do not like living, do not like thinking about the Champions League once every four or five years. Florence must stand among the greats of Europe.

"We do not want gifts or even money for the cost from the politicians, but permits and licenses quickly. And if we don't get it, it will mean that Fiorentina will have to continue scrapping to live in the future," he appealed.

"We want to grow, and now the decision depends on you. If you say yes, the project can be done in 3 years."

1 comment:

  1. Its really good to see a club always looking to build for the future. These plans look fantastic and I hope they get their way.