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Florence sets out Stadio Artemio Franchi plan

The city council of Florence has approved a resolution to pursue a redevelopment of Stadio Artemio Franchi, home of Serie A football club Fiorentina, through wider development of the Campo di Marte area in which the stadium is located.

Mayor Dario Nardella said the resolution aims to “give a signal of concreteness and speed” to the “construction of a new stadium in the city”, following the collapse earlier this year of a plan to build a new venue at the Mercafir site.

The Il Sito di Firenze website said the council’s vision is to transform the Franchi into a stadium with a capacity of around 42,000 seats that would be capable of hosting international events. The Municipality of Florence will insert the redevelopment of Campo di Marte and the Franchi in the Municipal Operational Plan which will be approved by June 2021.

Nardella said the areas surrounding the Franchi will be developed into commercial, tourist accommodation and other “economically relevant” projects in order to support the private investment needed for the stadium.

“We accelerate the procedure to be ready when the amendments in parliament are eventually approved,” said Nardella. “In any case the die is cast, as far as we are concerned in Florence the stadium is the Franchi and on this we will concentrate all our strength.”

In March, Fiorentina confirmed it would not participate in the public tender for land earmarked for a new stadium at the Mercafir site, as the club’s president, Rocco Commisso, stated he remained committed to developing a new home in the local area, despite the challenges presented by laws in the country.

Fiorentina confirmed its decision after it earlier put forward multiple concerns over the proposed site, stating that if cost and timing issues were not addressed its willingness to pursue the project would “quickly fade”.

The Mercafir area, a food and beverage market in north-eastern Florence, had been pinpointed for the stadium, with the proposal seeing the land divided in two. The stadium would have occupied the southern part of the land, with a new market being developed in the north.

Fiorentina has played at the Stadio Artemio Franchi since it opened in 1931 and efforts to either redevelop the facility or build a new stadium intensified after the club was taken over by Italian-American businessman Commisso in June 2019.

In September 2019, fresh plans were put forward for the redevelopment of the Franchi involving the formation of a “stadium inside the stadium”. In his March letter, Commisso touched on the potential redevelopment of the stadium.

Image: Fiorentina