Italian champions Juventus FC plan to halve the capacity of their Delle Alpi stadium as part of a redevelopment which will include building 200 executive boxes.
Built for World Cup
Juventus chief executive officer Antonio Giruado said the club expected to sign an agreement with the Turin city council next month which would allow them to begin work on the stadium, which was built ahead of the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Giruado said the new 35,000-capacity stadium would keep the modern exterior but the athletics track would be removed and the new stands would be closer to the pitch. "
From the outside it will be as it is today which is an architectural wonder," he said. "The outside is the best thing about the current Delle Alpi. Inside however we will produce a stadium for 35,000."
Large swathes of empty seating are a common sight at the Delle Alpi, which seldom attracts crowds close to its 70,000 capacity. It is felt the open nature of the ground and the distance between the pitch and the stands dilute the atmosphere.
Last year, Juventus agreed a 99-year lease with the city council, paying €24m for the stadium and surrounding land on the agreement they could develop it "for both their sporting and commercial activities" in the words of Turin's mayor, Sergio Chiamparino. Torino Calcio agreed a similar deal to move into Juve's old Stadio Comunale, although some Granata supporters wanted a return to their former home at the smaller Filadelfia stadium.
Better for fans
Giruado said the re-designed venue would represent a radical improvement for fans. "The fans will feel as though they are on the pitch. There will be ten metres between the supporters and the players, which means the fans will be closer than they are at the San Siro," he said. Construction will begin at the end of the year on the new venue, which Juventus expect to be ready by 2006. It will cost €110m and the club are also planning a new training and entertainment centre which will cost €130m.
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