Saturday July 14 2012
Udinese plan new stands, more fans

Udinese began their pre-season with an in-depth news conference detailing their ambitions to improve their stadium and boost their season-ticket sales.

The Zebrette explained the improvements being made to the Stadio Friuli that begin this summer and which, as administrative director Alberto Rigotto revealed, ultimately involve the complete demolition of the two end stands by next summer.

“What is happening this summer is a foretaste of what the new home for Udinese will become. Work has already begun and it will already give us something significant for the present time,” he offered to reporters on the club’s movement and reallocation of seating behind each goal at the club’s ground.

“We are not selling season tickets for the Curva Sud and may ask fans from the Curva Nord to move to the side stand for the final two months of the season as we may begin further work on the ground before the end of the 2012-13 season.

“The initial work will address the two curva stands, we will demolish them and have them rebuilt by the end of next summer.”

Despite this disruption and the number of high-profile exits made from the playing squad this year, the club are targeting attracting a record 20,000 season-ticket holders, which would mark an increase of more than 5,000 from 2011-12.

“We insist that this is our ambition,” commented director general Franco Collavino. “It’s a course that aims to develop loyalty and sense of belonging for all.

“Last year we went from 11,000 to over 14,000 and so we are in the right direction. The club wants to maintain its relationship with its supporters, trying to incorporate their demands and the moderinisation of the stadium goes in this direction.

“Our relationship must be dynamic, not static. Prices will go unchanged as a matter of course, it is a significant sacrifice.

“In the 2001-02 season prices were higher than they are now - I think this is an effort that all fans can appreciate.”

Season ticket holders will also be offered free entrance into Coppa Italia fixtures, apart from any possible semi-final, and also a 40 per cent reduction on ticket prices for European matches. The club are in the qualifying round for a place in the Champions League.