Bologna presents temporary stadium plan

Italian Serie A football club Bologna has revealed further details behind its temporary stadium project after presenting plans to the Municipality of Bologna.

The temporary stadium is designed to become Bologna’s home as work takes place on the redevelopment of Stadio Renato Dall’Ara. This temporary venue is set to be situated on land surrounding the Agri-Food Centre of Bologna (CAAB), a site which also houses FICO Eataly World, dubbed the world’s largest agri-food theme park.

Bologna said in a statement: “Bologna Stadio and Bologna FC 1909 can confirm that a joint expression of interest has been lodged to the city council pertaining to the development and management of the ex-Asam area. This site has been identified to host Bologna FC’s home matches while the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara is being redeveloped.

“The area has been identified as suitable for this use both due to its status as an urban destination and its vicinity to the Centro Agroalimentare (CAAB) and the Parco FICO Eataly World. The latter would provide road access and parking space to the extent required for the new stadium.”

Bologna Stadio, a company formed by the club in February 2020 to oversee the Dall’Ara  redevelopment, will be entirely responsible for financing development of the temporary stadium, which will be leased to Bologna for a term of 10 years.

The initial period, corresponding to redevelopment work on the Dall’Ara, will see the ground host the first team’s matches with a maximum capacity of 16,000 spectators. Afterwards, with the capacity reduced to around 2,700, the ground will host various other club activities, such as home games involving the youth teams and the women’s first team.

Bologna said that following expiry of the 10-year lease, the site could be returned to the Municipality. The club added: “Furthermore, Bologna Stadio and Bologna FC 1909 can confirm that the necessary agreements have been reached with all interested parties (CAAB and Eataly World) by signing a special memorandum of understanding as a show of synergy surrounding the management of parking, commercial activities and catering at the Parco FICO, the CAAB and the new facility.”

Stefano Cigarini, CEO of FICO Eataly World, in May said that visitors to Bologna’s temporary stadium will be offered a unique experience combining Serie A football with the best of Italian cuisine. Cigarini said that with one ticket, visitors will be able to spend a day taking in a Bologna match and experiencing FICO Eataly World.

Earlier in May, Bologna delivered the final plan (pictured) for the redevelopment of its Stadio Renato Dall’Ara. The plan was filed by Bologna Stadio to the Municipality of Bologna, owner of the stadium, including changes requested for the project, plus financial guarantees.

Opened in 1927, the Dall’Ara underwent redevelopment for Italy’s staging of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The latest project will seek to remove the superstructure introduced in the last renovation, scaling back the facility to create a fully-covered 30,000-seat stadium that has its stands closer to the pitch.

Work is expected to start on the redevelopment of the Dall’Ara by the end of 2022.

Image: GAU Arena