The Deputy Mayor of Genoa, Pietro Piciocchi, has said plans are in place to redevelop the Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris on the basis that Italy secures hosting rights to UEFA Euro 2032.
The Luigi Ferraris, home of Serie A club Sampdoria and Serie B team Genoa, is one of the Italian Football Federation’s (FIGC) proposed venues for the national team tournament. An investment of around €70m (£61m/$73.8m) is believed to be necessary, according to the Genova24 website, to bring the stadium up to UEFA standards to host Euro 2032 games.
“We’ve submitted a hypothesis for a recovery and redevelopment project for the stadium to make it consistent with current legislation,” Piciocchi, who is also Councillor for Public Works, said.
“It is a project developed with Genoa and Sampdoria. Since 2018 there had been several studies, first cultivated by Sampdoria, then taken over by Genoa. It is basically a conservative recovery hypothesis, because it assumes that ours is a beautiful stadium and just needs to be brought up to standard.”
US alternative investment firm 777 Partners signalled its intention to significantly upgrade the Luigi Ferraris after acquiring Genoa in September 2021. Since that point, 777 is said to have commissioned Populous to work on the stadium project.
In a separate interview today (Wednesday) with local newspaper Il Secolo XIX, Genoa CEO Andres Blazquez confirmed his club and Sampdoria have held various meetings with local authorities on a shared project. Blazquez added that a multi-phase project is envisioned, costing more than €100m, with the first phase having the potential to be completed in 2024-25, followed by additional works running over the next three years.
Regarding the financing of the project, Piciocchi said that should Italy land Euro 2032, and Genoa be chosen as a host city, public funding would be available, with the two clubs contributing through a deal connected to the extension of their lease agreements for the stadium, which is owned by the Municipality of Genoa.
The emergence of a solid redevelopment plan appears to rule out two other proposals floated over recent years. In April 2020, Mayor Marco Bucci said that the Luigi Ferraris was up for sale, while also raising the possibility of building a new stadium in the city.
Piciocchi said: “(The sale) no longer exists, also because today there is a new national legislation to proceed with a redevelopment with an accelerated procedure.”
He added: “The redevelopment of the stadium is one of our primary objectives. Obviously part of the scenario could change according to the evolution of the blucerchiati (Sampdoria) corporate crisis.
“But we were already working with the teams who… confirm their absolute interest in the project, and also the relationship with Sampdoria has never failed. The novelty is that the Euro 2032 opportunity has been introduced.”
The Italian Government last week gave its official backing to the country’s bid to host Euro 2032. European football’s governing body in November confirmed it had received preliminary bid dossiers from all three candidates to host Euro 2028 and 2032, with the FIGC putting forward an initial 11 cities for its bid for the latter tournament.
The FIGC later confirmed that 11 cities are involved in its candidacy phase: Milan, Turin, Verona, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Bari, Cagliari and Palermo. Venue shortlists will need to be cut to 10 by the time the final bid dossiers need to be submitted by April 12. Italy is facing competition for Euro 2032 from Turkey, which is also targeting Euro 2028.
Genoa has played at the Luigi Ferraris since it opened in 1911, with Sampdoria having called the stadium home since 1946.