The proposed Bosco dello Sport stadium and arena project in Venice has taken a big step forward after Italy’s central government committed €93.5m (£80m/$102m) of public funds towards the development.
The project suffered a major setback in April when the European Commission confirmed that Italy had been barred from directing almost €150m of COVID-19 recovery funds towards two stadium developments including projects in Venice and at Fiorentina’s Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence.
Whilst the Fiorentina stadium project is still in limbo from a financial perspective, the funding shortfall in Venice appears to have been resolved.
Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro expressed his delight by praising the efforts of Italy’s central government, including President of the Senate, Ignazio La Russa.
“The value of our project has been recognised, and the principle that sport is not only a tool for psycho-physical wellbeing, but also as a vehicle for inclusion, participation and education that can drive the development of essential skills… particularly with young people,” Brugnaro said.
The City of Venice in December launched a tender process after approving investment in a project that will be underpinned by a sports complex featuring a new 16,000-seat stadium for Serie B football club Venezia, plus a 10,000-seat arena.
Bosco dello Sport will be built in Tessera and along with the stadium and arena, will include the completion of a road network linking up Ca’ Tessera Venice Airport, internal urbanisation, landscaping and an educational area.
The vision is for a multi-functional complex that is active seven days a week and capable of guaranteeing economic and financial sustainability. The Municipality is contributing €189.9m towards the project.
The development will take place in the heart of wooded areas, with about 100,000 trees and shrubs set to be planted.
Last week, the Municipality of Florence launched a fresh tender process for the redevelopment of Fiorentina’s home venue after no proposals were submitted during the initial process, with the administration admitting the uncertainty surrounding the project’s funding may have contributed to the apparent lack of interest.
Furthermore, the Municipality said it will present an appeal to the Regional Administrative Court (TAR) against the state, seeking damages in addition to the restoration of the loan that had previously been agreed.