Eight bidders in the running for Stadio Artemio Franchi contract

The Municipality of Florence has shortlisted eight proposals to transform the Stadio Artemio Franchi, home of Italian Serie A football club Fiorentina.

The Municipality in June launched an international design competition for the project. The competition as a whole does not solely focus on the stadium, which opened in 1931 and has a current capacity of around 43,000. Instead, it seeks to create a new sports/cultural space as a key part of the urban regeneration of the Campo di Marte area in Florence.

At the time, Florence’s Mayor, Dario Nardella, said the budget for the entire project is projected to be a maximum of €190m (£160.7m/$220.7m), of which work on the stadium is expected to take up €137.5m. The Municipality has specified that the new-look Franchi must have a capacity of 40,000 seats, covered entirely by a roof.

The Franchi was designed by renowned Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi and is considered one of the best examples of European architecture from the 20th century. The redevelopment is envisioned to preserve the main elements of the stadium, such as its iconic ‘Tower of Marathon’, while bringing the facility up to modern-day standards.

The Municipality received 31 applications in the initial stage of the competition, whittling these down to eight after a three-day meeting which ended yesterday (Thursday). Nine evaluation criteria were applied to each of the applications.

The eight shortlisted firms, whose identities have not been disclosed, have now been given until February 1 to enter their preliminary projects, with a winner expected to be chosen within the first fortnight of March.

“We have managed to bring together leading personalities in all sectors and fundamental disciplines to evaluate all aspects of such a complex project,” said Nardella, according to local newspaper La Nazione.

“I would like to thank each of the members of the jury for the commitment with which they are facing this task. Everything is proceeding on schedule and by mid-March we will see what the new stadium of our city will be like.”

In April, the Municipality’s ongoing efforts to transform the Franchi were boosted after the project received a substantial funding package from the Italian government’s national recovery plan.

Italy’s Council of Ministers approved the plan, which in total allocated around €6bn to projects relating to the cultural sector. With an allocation of €95m, the Franchi redevelopment was one of 14 strategic projects labelled great cultural attractions which were assigned €1.46bn in total.

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