Saturday March 30 2013
Udinese get stadium go-ahead

Udinese are set to build their own stadium after finally getting a 99-year lease from the local council, the same deal that Juventus have.

The Stadio Friuli area will be revamped starting from this summer with a new purpose-built and much smaller stadium hosting 25,000, as it had been constructed for the 1990 World Cup.

“This is an historic day for the whole Friuli region,” said patron Gianpaolo Pozzo. “For me, personally, it represents the end of a difficult journey that has lasted 10 years.

“It will bring us to create a modern and efficient football stadium that will be open to all, seven days a week, in one of the logistically best areas of the city.

“We must recognise the merits of Mayor Furio Honsell, who achieved a bureaucratic miracle to achieve this project.”

The initial plan for the 99-year lease had essentially been approved in July 2012, but only on Friday was it formally ratified.

Udinese will become the first club after Juventus to have their own stadium, though Cagliari’s Is Arenas continues to be plagued with problems and will again host a game behind closed doors today.

“I am sure the average number of spectators will increase, the warmth of the atmosphere will be multiplied and felt on the field, which in turn will help our players achieve even better results,” continued Pozzo.

“It is also a financial boost, as by increasing our revenue we can hold players in Udine for longer and raise the average salary.

“As for the fans, they’ll have a stadium with covered seating and every comfort from hospitality to restaurants and pre-match entertainment. The people of the city will also have an area of 20,000 square metres that can be used every day.”