FIGC report highlights continued need for stadium investment in Italy

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has published the latest edition of ReportCalcio, which highlights the impact COVID-19 had on the 2020-21 season and the continued need to invest in stadium infrastructure.

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina has said the report confirms the need to start a “sustainable development programme” to safeguard the financial future of Italian football.

The FIGC has published the report in collaboration with professional services company PwC and research agency AREL. This is the 12th edition of the report, with last year’s having identified investment in stadiums as one of two key priorities for Italian football.

The latest report, released yesterday (Wednesday), reveals that stadium revenues were almost non-existent in 2020-21 as COVID-19 forced the vast majority of matches to be held behind closed doors. It is estimated that 23.1 million spectators were lost during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons because of the pandemic, which equates to an unrealised ticketing revenue of €513.3m (£434m/$511m).

The report also claims that the launch of an investment programme for a new generation of football facilities in Italy is becoming “increasingly essential” to shorten the gap between other countries.

According to the report, 187 new stadiums were built in Europe between 2007 and 2021, but Italy accounted for just five of these (Juventus, Udinese, Frosinone, Albinoleffe and Südtirol).

Comparatively, Turkey and Poland have built 29 new stadiums during this time, with Germany building 17. Italy accounts for just 1% of the total stadium projects and the report calls for Italy to start investing in sports facilities “as soon as possible”.

The average age of stadiums in Serie A and Serie B is 62 years old, according to the report. Additionally, only 12% of professional stadiums use renewable energy sources, while just 7% are not publicly owned.

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