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Plans set out to reduce energy consumption at Serie A stadia

Lega Serie A, organising body of the top division of Italian club football, has revealed plans to aid efforts to tackle the energy crisis.

Lega president, Lorenzo Casini, used today’s (Friday’s) assembly meeting to announce the implementation of a series of initiatives, developed by the organisation in recent weeks, aimed at making a contribution to help address the “complicated energy emergency situation”.

These efforts will start with this weekend’s fifth round of games in the 2022-23 season, with stadium lighting across Serie A stadia to be restricted to a maximum of four hours of use per game.

In addition, for matches starting between 12.30pm and 6pm, the time necessary to calibrate the equipment necessary to support video assistant referees (VAR) and goal-line technology (GLT) will be reduced from 90 minutes to 60 minutes before a game. In this way, the Lega claims Serie A stadia will have a reduction in lighting time of about 25%.

In addition, the Lega, together with Andrea Cardinaletti, Serie A’s new consultant for infrastructure, will be responsible for identifying the best solutions for energy efficiency in the stadiums, such as switching to LEDs for all systems or installation of photovoltaic panels, as well as optimising the heating consumption of the venues ahead of the winter.

Casini said: “This is a first step for now. We must be a virtuous example in a difficult moment of energy crisis.

“In addition to safety and public order reasons, the lights in stadiums are essential today to ensure the correct functioning of the VAR and goal-line technology, but we felt it necessary to reduce the lighting of the systems to the maximum possible, before and after the matches, to significantly reduce consumption.

“In addition, the Lega is working to implement energy efficiency projects for the stadiums as soon as possible. In Italy the stadiums can really become not only tools for urban redevelopment, but also models of environmental sustainability and self-production of energy.”

The Lega’s move comes after Italian consumer watchdog Codacons last month backed calls for evening games in domestic football to be reduced amid the energy crisis.

Citing data from the UK division of consumer advice group Selectra, Codacons stated that a stadium with a capacity of between 40,000 and 80,000 consumes up to 25,000 KWh of energy during a 90-minute match.

It said the energy used during a single game could power more than a dozen homes for an entire year. Meanwhile, the total energy usage of major stadiums was said to be able to power a small town on average, from kick-off to the final whistle.

Image: Vincenzo.togni/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size