The city council in Verona has voted to approve a new football stadium in the Italian city by a majority of 22 votes in favour to six against.

The project was deemed to be in the public interest by the city council during the vote yesterday (Wednesday). The decision comes after the Municipality of Verona approved the proposed plan last month.

The 27,000-seat stadium would replace the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi (pictured), home to Serie A team Hellas Verona and Serie B outfit Chievo Verona. The new stadium has received the support of Hellas but not Chievo.

Mayor of Verona Federico Sboarina said: “The objective is to create a work that can offer Verona not only a state-of-the-art facility in line with the city’s growth but also a redevelopment project to improve the neighbourhood and not the other way around.”

Ciro Maschio of the Fratelli d’Italia party supported the plans and said: “The stadium law provides very precise procedures to guarantee the absolute seriousness and sustainability of the proposal.

“It is a great opportunity for our city, which will lead to the construction of a new, modern and secure stadium, which will reduce the occupied area in the neighbourhood, redevelop the area, increase the greenery and services, and bring Verona to the forefront in the sports facilities, in step with the best European cities.”

The plans were, however, met with opposition from some councillors. Michele Bertucco of the Sinistra in Commune said the project “lacks transparency and participation from the community”, while Tommaso Ferrari of Traguardi Verona said it is “inadmissible to vote for the public interest on something that is devoid of an urban road plan”.

Image: El passs