The Regional Council of Sardinia has given the green light to provide €50m (£45m/$54m) in funding towards a new stadium for Italian Serie B football club Cagliari.
The funding will be allocated over four years, with an initial €3m to be provided in 2023. A further €15m will be provided in 2024, €12m in 2025, and €20m in 2026.
It is hoped the stadium, which will have an initial capacity of 25,000, will be delivered in time for the 2025-26 season. There are also plans to propose the stadium as a host venue as part of Italy’s bid to stage the 2032 UEFA European Championship.
Cagliari finalised plans for its new stadium last summer, with the venue to be built on the site of the old Stadio Sant’Elia. The club has been playing at the temporary Sardegna Arena since the 2017-18 season after the Sant’Elia was closed with a view to being demolished and completely rebuilt.
Cagliari hopes that once the demolition of the old stadium has finished, the new ground can be constructed over a period of about 25 months in time for the 2025-26 season.
In March last year, Cagliari sealed a new deal with industrial holding company Costim for the new stadium. This provided the joint investment needed to commence construction, through a new company that will be established in the event of the award of a public tender.
The newco will be 60% controlled by Cagliari, with Costim holding the remaining 40% stake. The total cost of the stadium, which will be expandable to 30,000 seats, has been projected at between €125m and €130m.
In July 2020, Cagliari partnered with Istituto per il Credito Sportivo to aid the financing of its stadium project. The Istituto operates in the credit sector for sport and culture projects and carries out consultancy work for public and private developments. It was appointed to attract investment to the Cagliari project, which includes the stadium and associated development of the surrounding area.
Cagliari was relegated from Serie A last season and currently sits ninth in the second division.