Italian football club Spezia played its first Serie A match at the Stadio Alberto Picco last night after a project to bring the stadium in line with top-flight standards was completed.

The 2020-21 season marks Spezia’s first in the top flight but the club has been forced to play home matches at Cesena’s Stadio Dino Manuzzi while upgrades are carried out at the Alberto Picco.

Spezia had initially been due to return to the Alberto Picco on December 5 for the match against Lazio. However, the club later earmarked last night’s match against Bologna as its first game back at the stadium amid delays relating to the installation of goal line technology and VAR equipment.

The Alberto Picco has a capacity of around 10,000 but Pierluigi Peracchini, the Mayor of Spezia, last month detailed plans to increase this to 16,000 so it is in line with Serie A standards.

Work on the stadium has been taking place since the start of the season, with the main part of the project focusing on the demolition of the current grandstand and replacing it with a new 5,500-seat stand without barriers. The Curva Piscina stand will also feature 3,300 seats, with the two remaining stands to seat 3,100 and 4,014 fans, respectively, bringing the total capacity to just under 16,000.

Spezia marked its return to the Alberto Picco with a 2-2 draw against Bologna last night. The result leaves the club in 16th place after 12 games of the season.

Image: Spezia Calcio