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Allianz Stadium opens up to rugby with Italy v All Blacks clash

Featured image credit: Juventus

Juventus has agreed a deal with the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) that will see the Serie A club’s Allianz Stadium host its first non-football event.

The Turin venue, Juventus’ home since 2011, will stage Italy’s Autumn Nations Series clash against New Zealand on November 23.

Francesco Calvo, Juventus’ managing director of revenue and football development, said: “We are proud to have reached this agreement with the Italian Rugby Federation, which will allow the doors of the Allianz Stadium to be opened to non-football events for the first time.

“The Allianz Stadium was the first stadium to be owned by a club in Italy, but since its opening we have never stopped, following the technological evolution of the sector, which allows us, today, to open up to new opportunities and support the Federation in this important event.”

Juventus set a new record attendance for a match at the Allianz Stadium during the 2023-24 season after 41,507 fans watched the 1-1 draw with Inter Milan on November 26. The attendance was 12 more than the 41,495 that watched Juventus host Inter on December 7, 2018.

Commenting on the partnership with Juventus, Marzio Innocenti, president of the FIR, said: “The All Blacks are an icon of international sport, as is Juventus. To be able to welcome them once again to our country and to be able to do so in the best sporting facility in Italy adds a new element to the Federation that we are building, day by day.

“I would like to thank Juventus for making this agreement possible by adapting the facility to our game and the local institutions, from the Region to the City Council, who have strongly supported the return of Italy to Turin. Italy versus the All Blacks at the Allianz Stadium will be an unforgettable event, not only for the rugby community, but for Italian sport as a whole.”

Italy currently plays its major rugby matches at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, but the FIR in February officially entered the long-running effort to regenerate the capital’s Stadio Flaminio, the former home of the national team.

The announcement came following a meeting between Innocenti and the consortium behind the regeneration of Parco Urbano Flamino, in which the stadium sits, at the headquarters of Istituto per il Credito Sportivo (ICS), a banking group dedicated to the sports and culture sector, in Rome.

The Flaminio, designed by renowned Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi, was built ahead of the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and initially served as a football ground before hosting matches played by Italy’s rugby union team from 2000 to 2011. The stadium has been closed since 2011, with the Municipality of Rome, its owner, seeking ways in which to bring it back to life.

During the meeting, the FIR said a “common desire” was expressed between itself and the consortium to form a joint working group on a project to identify “suitable strategies” to redevelop the Flaminio. Serie A club SS Lazio has also been heavily linked to a redeveloped Flaminio.