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Design & Development

Court dismisses appeal against Fiorentina stadium revamp

Featured image credit: Arup

A court has dismissed an appeal that was lodged against the redevelopment of Stadio Artemio Franchi, home of Serie A football club Fiorentina.

The appeal had been filed to the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio (TAR) against the Ministry of Culture, Florence’s superintendence and the Municipality by Fondation PLN Project.

PLN is a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving the legacy of renowned Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi, who died in 1979. Nervi designed the Franchi, which is considered one of the best examples of European architecture from the 20th century. Plans to significantly redevelop the stadium have been met with considerable opposition.

The Municipality of Florence, which owns the stadium and is leading its renovation project, had played down the potential impact of the appeal, stating that it has “no direct influence’ on the tender procedures in process.

The appeal has now been declared inadmissible by the TAR due to a lack of “legitimacy and interest” in filing the appeal, Calcio e Finanza reports. PLN has also been ordered to pay €1,000 (£861/$1,100).

The redevelopment of the Franchi has been met with multiple challenges. In April, the European Commission confirmed that Italy had been barred from directing almost €150m of COVID-19 recovery funds towards major stadium projects in Florence and Venice, €55m of which was destined for the Franchi.

Fiorentina will require a temporary home for two seasons while the €193.4m redevelopment of the Franchi takes place, Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella has said. In March 2022, the Italian division of engineering and design consultancy Arup was selected to lead the revamp.

Earlier this month, it emerged that Fiorentina was exploring the possibility of building a temporary stadium on the site of a nearby rugby facility.

The Franchi opened in 1931 and has a current capacity of around 43,000. Arup’s proposal features a roof for the Franchi and new grandstands which will bring fans closer to the pitch. Under the plans, the new capacity of the stadium will be at least 40,000.