Florence city council has approved a plan for the development of land targeted for a new stadium for Italian Serie A football club Fiorentina.
The Mercafir area, a food and beverage market in north-eastern Florence, has been pinpointed for the stadium, with the proposal seeing the land divided in two. The stadium would occupy the southern part of the land, with a new market being developed in the north.
The proposal, put forward by Councillor for Urban Planning Cecilia Del Re, was adopted with 22 votes in favour, seven against and three abstentions. However, the Firenze Today website reports that notable opposition was raised at the meeting, chiefly from those concerned that options for Fiorentina’s current home, Stadio Artemio Franchi (pictured), have not been properly considered.
In September, fresh plans from architecture firm BCB Progetti were put forward for the redevelopment of the Franchi that would involve the formation of a “stadium inside the stadium”. Speaking at the meeting on the Mercafir proposal, Michele Pierguidi, president of the Quartiere 2 district of Florence, and a backer of the BCB Progetti concept, said: “I am very worried. This is how the Franchi is condemned to abandonment.”
Firenze Today said a public tender for the sale of the land at Mercafir should be launched in January. The land is estimated to be worth at least €15m (£12.8m/$16.5m), but Fiorentina president Rocco Commisso is reported to only want to pay a maximum of €6m.
Speaking last week, Commisso bemoaned the bureaucracy stifling progress in his aim to build a new stadium for the club and reiterated his goal of opening a new facility in four years’ time. Commisso added that he is sticking to his goal, outlined last month, of building a training centre in two years and then completing the stadium project two years after that.
Pierattelli Architetture this month put forward a proposal for a 40,000-seat stadium designed to serve as the new home of Fiorentina. Commisso last month expressed his hope for the club to move into a new stadium by 2023 after the Municipality of Florence approved a proposal to make a plot of land at Mercafir available for the potential development.
Fiorentina has played at the Franchi since it opened in 1931 and there has been talk of a new ground for nearly a decade. Efforts to either redevelop the stadium or build a new facility intensified in June after Italian-American businessman Commisso completed his takeover of the club.