Italian Serie A football club Cagliari has agreed a deal with Sportium to deliver the final design for its new stadium.

The news marks the latest step in a project that dates back to 2015, when the first feasibility study was conducted. Cagliari has been playing at the temporary Sardegna Arena since the 2017-18 season after the Stadio Sant’Elia was closed with a view to being demolished and completely rebuilt.

After a guide plan for the Sant’Elia was approved in November, the project has since moved forward with Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini last month revealing that the new stadium will not feature additional commercial spaces as planned due to the economic climate caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During the past six months, Monitor Deloitte, part of consultancy giant Deloitte, has worked to rewrite the economic and financial plan and define the industrial plan of the new stadium, which Cagliari states will seek to create an “exceptional arena” in the global market, which will be an example of innovation, sustainability and will contribute to the development of the local region.

Sportium is a company owned by Progetto CMR, iDeas and B&L Real Estate. Manica Architecture will lead the design work for the new stadium, which will have a capacity of around 25,000, expandable to 30,000.

In April 2018, Cagliari selected a proposal from Sportium to develop its new stadium but was forced to revise plans amid the Italian Football Federation’s (FIGC) proposed bid for UEFA Euro 2024, which was eventually awarded to Germany.

Commenting on its vision for the new stadium, Cagliari said: “The new stadium in Cagliari will be the pride of the whole island and the first real strength of a team capable of representing it in the best way.

“A fortress that will intimidate opponents who will come from overseas, an exceptional location where the team will find a powerful boost, in total harmony with the spirit of its proud people. This is the result of brilliant architecture that, by using modern technologies, immediately makes the stadium appear to be an almost impregnable fortress.”

Manica formally left Sportium as a partner this year, but remains involved in leading the design of the new Cagliari stadium with them. It will also continue to team with Sportium on future projects in Italy.

Commenting on the latest thinking behind the stadium, Manica Architecture president, David Manica, told “There is one update to the project. The design originally merged the retail shopping alongside the stadium east façade, but the city later moved toward a masterplan that separates the stadium and retail component in order to offer increased development opportunities for the mixed-use commercial zone that strengthened its connection back to the historic city centre.

“Manica is leading the design of the stadium component while Sportium is supporting the stadium development and leading the masterplan and mixed-use development design.”

Cagliari stated that the final project will be concluded next month. A public tender process is expected to take place next year for the construction contract. The new stadium is expected to take two years to build.

Images: Manica Architecture