Regione Campania has presented a €95m (£81.3m/$104.1m) scheme to transform Stadio Arechi, the home of Serie A football club Salernitana, into what it claims will be the most modern stadium in Italy.
The local authority presented the plans yesterday (Thursday), with the GAU Arena studio selected to design the Nuovo Stadio Arechi. The stadium has been home to Salernitana since it opened in 1990 and while the redevelopment will maintain its current capacity of 35,000, the facility is set for an extensive overhaul.
This will be headlined by what will be a complete transformation from the Arechi’s current two-tier setup. Fans seated in the lower tier currently have to deal with sightline issues, with the new-look Arechi to instead adopt a single seating bowl.
The Nuovo Arechi will come complete with a new roof, including a photovoltaic system to ramp up its sustainability credentials. An aluminium-based façade will be installed on the stadium’s exterior. New hospitality spaces will be developed which will be utilised on non-matchdays for events and conferences.
On the new grandstands built in the corners adjacent to the main grandstand, the construction of hospitality spaces and terraces is planned, across a “glazed volume” that will allow visual continuity from the playing field towards the sea. These new elements will become bars and terraces that will further increase the hospitality area. On non-match days they will also be able to host dining offerings with a view of the sea.
The Nuovo Arechi will feature 18 new skyboxes, new concourse areas and a club museum. Regione Campania has said it envisions that contracts for the project will be in place to allow construction work to begin between August and September next year. It hopes that the Nuovo Arechi will be delivered by December 2025.
Regione Campania President, Vincenzo De Luca, said at yesterday’s presentation: “We will completely redo the stadium. An important economic investment is planned, we are doing it at a positive moment for Salernitana as survival in Serie A was a sporting miracle.
“This unity is essential for success in the future too. We will have to make choices together with the club and the fans, because the operation can last a year and a half or 10 years. It will be up to you which choice we have to make.
“A construction site open for 500 days, with work also at night, that’s one thing. Then there may be a construction site that is kept open and has activity that proceeds in phases. This other type of construction site has different costs.”
However, De Luca has said the project will depend upon an agreement being reached for Salernitana to play elsewhere for at least one season. Stadio Ciro Vigorito, the home of Benevento, and Bari’s Stadio San Nicola have been proposed as potential temporary homes for the club, but one other solution has emerged.
Regione Campania, which will finance the Arechi venture, has proposed that for an additional €15m, Salernitana’s former home, Stadio Donato Vestuti, could be repurposed as a 15,000-capacity facility. The Municipality of Salerno owns both venues and would need to sign off on such a scheme.
De Luca added: “If we decide to play at Vestuti we absolutely have to run. The choice that will be made will be decisive – in June 2024 we must have the Vestuti ready and put our hands on the Arechi. It is clear that they (the Municipality) want to use both stadiums in Salerno.
“It would be better for the Region to say either Bari or Benevento, but it would mean not playing at home and this always has its weight. Unfortunately a stadium like Vestuti, which has great history, is falling apart, it’s not good and we have to intervene.
“A need arises and I believe it may be necessary to take the opportunity and make an overall investment. It can be a turning point for the sporting life of our city. The total investment, should it be necessary to intervene on Vestuti as well, is €110m.”