New lease deal put forward for Napoli’s Stadio San Paolo

The Municipality of Naples has approved a new lease agreement for the use of Stadio San Paolo by Italian Serie A football club Napoli.

After what is said to have been a long debate on the matter, a majority vote gave the green light to a five-year deal backdated to the 2018-19 season and running on to 2022-23. The lease agreement includes the option of a further five-year extension through to June 2028.

“On the cost of personnel, electricity, water consumption, housing and heat management we must take into account that the stadium will only be used for 90 days (in a year),” said Councillor for Sport, Ciro Borriello, according to the Napoli Today website.

“The principle of covering costs and profitability has been taken into account. Innovative elements in the convention include the possibility of using the stadium for concerts, but also that of advertising, it is clear that if advertising costs change they will also change for San Paolo.

“Furthermore, the obligations of the tenant – Calcio Napoli will take care of maintenance. It is an important goal that is being achieved today, finally a long-lasting and clear relationship for the use of the stadium is regulated.

“This is what the city deserves, and it is possible that in the future there may be further improvements. Every misunderstanding must be cleared up, this is a bilateral relationship with a club that will carry around the name of the city.”

However, it is as yet unclear as to whether Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis will sign the lease agreement. De Laurentiis has had a fractious relationship with local authorities of late, with the Stadio San Paolo one of the main reasons behind the tense relations.

Indeed, in January the Municipality of Naples reportedly issued an ultimatum to Napoli calling on it to settle a €4m (£3.6m/$4.5m) debt in order to continue using the Stadio San Paolo. The 60,240-capacity stadium first opened in December 1959 but had received little improvement work since Italy hosted the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

This changed over the past year, as renovations to the city-owned venue for Naples’ staging of the 2019 Summer Universiade multi-sport event dropped the San Paolo’s capacity to 55,000.

Image: SSC Napoli