Design & Development

Napoli owner details new stadium plan

Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Naples, Italy

Featured image credit: Joris/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Napoli owner and president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has said a plan has been drawn up for the Italian Serie A football club to move to a new 60,000-seat stadium in the Bagnoli quarter of Naples, adding that such a project could be delivered in adequate time for the facility to be a host venue during UEFA Euro 2032.

De Laurentiis’ comments, in interviews with the TGR Campania arm of state broadcaster Rai and Sky, came after reports earlier this week suggested that a breakthrough could be near on a solution to redevelop Napoli’s current home, the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Formerly known as Stadio San Paolo, the venue first opened in 1959 and has a current capacity of over 54,000. However, De Laurentiis has long been displeased over Napoli’s situation at the stadium and has been in disputes with a succession of the Campania capital’s leaders.

De Laurentiis said yesterday: “I ask the Mayor of Naples, Gaetano Manfredi, to support this idea of ​​mine of wanting to bring a very modern Napoli stadium to the Bagnoli area, complete with a shopping centre as required by law, and also combining a training centre that we will move from Castelvolturno to Naples with 12 pitches to also be made available to the local community and less well-off people.”

De Laurentiis continued: “I would have really liked to redevelop the Maradona but the Zavanella studio, which has been studying the project for a month, explained to me that the only way to conduct a renovation is to build another stadium inside the Maradona and that to do this we would have to play three years away due to safety problems. It’s impossible, so I put my soul at rest and told Zavanella to design a new, very modern stadium.

“We therefore talked with those who govern Bagnoli. I also thank Afragola, which made a gigantic quantity of hectares available to me, but it seems absurd to me to take Naples’ team out of the city. 

“It is clear that they all agree because Bagnoli finally needs to find its own identity and it is a very broad terrain that can allow other entities to coexist with us. We had an initial meeting with the representatives of the state saying that the investment would be mine and that the important thing is to speed up the process and become an example for all of Italy. 

“I imagine seeing Napoli in the new stadium in 2027 with the first friendly match to start, perhaps on July 15, for an inauguration worthy of Hollywood.”

De Laurentiis, who made his fortune from the film and entertainment industry, said the groundwork is already in place for a stadium to be delivered ensuring Naples can be a host city for Euro 2032.

UEFA confirmed in October that Euro 2032 will be co-hosted by Italy and Turkey after the two nations abandoned their individual bids earlier in the year.

He added: “Since the reclamation of (land in) Bagnoli began last October and requires 18 months, and another 12 are needed for my project, we could lay the first stone in 18 months and build everything in 30. So we would be ready for the European Championships in 2032.”