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Stadio Renato Dall’Ara (Bologna FC 1909)

Stadio Renato Dall’Ara

Capacity: 38,279
Year Opened: 1927
Pitch Size: 105m x 68m
Address: Via Andrea Costa 174, 40134 Bologna
Phone: +39 051 6142215
Pitch Type: Natural grass
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Navy blue and red
Last Update: December 20, 2023

History of Bologna's Stadio Renato Dall'Ara

In 1927, Bologna relocated to the current site and its new home, the “Littoriale,” reflecting Mussolini’s political influence and sponsored by Leandro Arpinati, FIGC president and Bologna’s fascist mayor.

The multi-sport venue, the first stadium in Italy to be funded by a public body, started construction in 1925 and opened in May 1927, marked by King Victor Emmanuel III’s visit and Mussolini’s iconic arrival on a white horse in October 1926. A statue dedicated to the dictator, capturing that iconic image, stood in the apse overlooking the stands from 1927 to 1943.

The stadium featured red Bologna brick walls, arched windows, and the Maratona Tower in the sector facing the main stand.

On 29 May 1927, a crowd of 55,000 witnessed Italy’s 2-0 win over Spain, setting a record for the 1920s. The success led to the stadium being chosen as one of the host grounds for the 1934 World Cup, which Italy won.

Post-Fascist era, the stadium became “Stadio Comunale.” In the ’60s, rumors circulated about a new stadium in Borgo Panigale, but the Comunale remained a city landmark.

In 1983, the stadium was named after president Renato Dall’Ara on the day of the 20th anniversary of his death.

Ahead of the 1990 FIFA World Cup, the now Stadio Dall’Ara underwent full renovation, increasing capacity to 38,279.

On 10 May 2009, the Rossoblu fans’ stand was named after Giacomo Bulgarelli, honouring the late midfielder.

Bologna stadium history, before the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara

Bologna’s inaugural pitch, serving both training and matches, graced the Piazza d’Armi square in the Prati di Caprara fields. However, the Italian government, the landlord, mandated their departure due to the displeasure of a local shepherd who used the field for his flock.

In search of a new home, the team settled on an undeveloped stretch along what is now Strada San Vitale, situated between Via della Cesoia and Via Paolo Fabbri. The club faced relocation in 1913 due to league rule changes, leading President Rodolfo Minelli and the players to find a new patch in the Ragno district on Via Toscana (now Via Murri).

The Sterlino, as it was named, hosted its inaugural match on 30 November 1913. However, a discovery unfolded a few minutes into the game—an uneven slope, with one goal over one metre higher than the other.

Post-World War I, recognising the need for redevelopment, the Sterlino underwent significant changes. A new stand, larger than its predecessor and the first in Italy with a gantry, was erected.

What is the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara like?

Beautiful, first of all. Look at it!

Stadio Renato Dall'ara | Bologna FC 1909 Stadium - Bologna stadium - Italy Serie A football ground - Football Ground Guide 1
Photo: Icon Sport

Situated in the heart of Bologna’s Costa Saragozza district, Stadio Renato Dall’Ara stands as a prominent multi-purpose stadium. It is located around 3 kilometres from the town centre, 3.5 kilometres from Bologna’s train station, and 7 kilometres from the Guglielmo Marconi international airport.

Architecturally impressive, the stadium boasts a distinctive circular design and towering floodlight pylons and a towering Maratona Tower on one side and a roof on the other.

The Dall’Ara’s pitch boasts a unique crawl space with river stones, forming drainage canals. The mix of grasses keeps the turf compact, with no full returfing required in almost 90 years. 

The Ultras on the Curva Bulgarelli, particularly members of the Turist Group 1996, SGP 1999, and the renowned Vecchia Guardia (Old Guard), bring an unmatched passion and vocal presence. Known for their spirited displays with flares, firecrackers, and flags, these groups make Stadio Renato Dall’Ara one of the most vibrant and lively stadiums in Italy, both for home and away matches.

What is the capacity of Stadio Renato Dall'Ara?

The capacity of the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara is 38,279.

The renovation plans for the stadium indicate the capacity will be reduced to just under 27,000. For the renovation period, Bologna will play in a temporary stadium with a capacity of around 16,000 seats.

Bologna stadium renovation and temporary venue plans

The reconstruction of Stadio Renato Dall’Ara is set to completely transform its appearance. The plan involves dismantling the upper sections to reveal the hidden brick arcades, followed by thorough masonry renovation. The main structure of the west stand will be retained, while new stands and an auditorium will be erected with a significant change for fans.

All existing stands will be demolished, creating a more intimate setting. The main stand, currently 18 metres away from the field, will be moved closer to just 7.5 metres. The stadium’s capacity will be reduced to just under 27,000, including modern facilities, press seats, wheelchair spaces, and an away enclosure.

The reorganised space will feature a museum and areas for non-matchday use behind each goal. 

The covered stadium, with a unique roof structure, incorporates natural ventilation and three overlapping layers.

The ambitious project, named GAU Arena and curated by Gino Zavanella, is a €100 million public-private partnership between the city of Bologna (€40m) and the Saputo family, owners of Bologna FC.

For the renovation period, Bologna will play in a temporary stadium near FICO-CAAB, with a capacity of around 16,000 seats. After redevelopment work, the facility will be reduced to just over 2,000 seats for youth football and the women’s team.

Construction of the temporary stadium is expected to start in the summer of 2024. Bologna aims to play in the new facility in the 2025/26 and 2026/27 seasons, with the Dall’Ara reopening in spring 2027.

Stadium tours

Visitors can take guided tours of the stadium, exploring its rich history, visiting the team changing rooms, the pressroom, and stepping onto the pitch.

The association Succede solo a Bologna organises guided tours inside the Stadium every week.

Matchday tickets at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara

Tickets for matches and events held at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara can be purchased through various online channels or at the stadium’s ticket office.

Tickets can be purchased online here:

How to get to Stadio Renato Dall'Ara

Centrally positioned in Bologna’s Costa Saragozza district, the Renato Dall’Ara stadium is located 3 kilometres from the town centre, 3.5 kilometres from Bologna’s train station, and 7 kilometres from Guglielmo Marconi international airport.

By train:

A dedicated shuttle service ensures easy access for away fans traveling between Bologna’s train station and the stadium.

By car:

From the A1 motorway (Milan-Naples), exit at Bologna Casalecchio.

From the A14 motorway (Bologna-Taranto), follow signs for Florence and exit at Bologna Casalecchio.

From the A13 motorway (Bologna-Padua), follow signs for Florence and exit at Bologna Casalecchio.

Upon exiting at Bologna Casalecchio, join Bologna’s ring road, take exit number 1 towards Bologna town centre, and reach the Onorato Malaguti roundabout. Navigate to Via Simone di Filippo dei Crocefissi, then Via Caravaggio until reaching traffic lights. Turn left onto Via Don Luigi Sturzo and proceed to the intersection with Via Porrettana.

By plane:

Take the BLQ bus shuttle service from Guglielmo Marconi to Bologna’s train station.

Board bus number 77, disembark at the Montefiorino stop.

Away fans – where to park:

For away fans, the San Luca stands gate is on Via Menabue, a cross street of Via Porrettana. 

Gates open two hours before kick-off, and the designated car park is situated in Via Porrettana and Via Don Luigi Sturzo.

What is Stadio Renato Dall'Ara like for visiting and away fans?

Away fans occupy the “Curva Ospiti,” situated in the southwest corner of the stadium.

A new away enclosure is planned for the renovated stadium.

Bars and restaurants to visit near the Bologna stadium

You won’t find many regular bars, pubs or restaurants near the stadium. Since the stadium is about a 40-minute walk (3km) from the old town, the best chance of discovering a more classic bar experience is to stay in the city centre.

Who are Bologna’s rivals?

Derby dell’Appennino: Bologna FC 1909 vs ACF Fiorentina

Derby dell’Emilia: Bologna FC 1909 vs Parma Calcio 1913

Emilia–Romagna Derby: Bologna (Emilia’s most reputable club and Emilia-Romagna’s administrative city) vs. Cesena (traditionally the strongest team in Romagna).

Derby of Via Emilia: all matches between Bologna, Piacenza, Parma, Reggiana, Modena, and Cesena.

Disabled Facilities at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara

For those experiencing temporary disability, access to the ticketed area will be granted upon submission of a medical certificate confirming the ability to ambulate with the specified assistive device. Failure to provide this certificate may result in seating in the designated stadium section for disabled individuals, subject to availability.

To ensure accessibility, Bologna advises contacting the club to confirm seat availability and address any access requirements. 

Tickets for disabled supporters are not available through regular channels; instead, accreditation requests can be made via email ([email protected]) or fax (+39 051 6111122). 

Requests meeting the criteria will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached.

Bologna FC 1909 and PMG Italia are working to provide free transport to the Renato Dall’Ara stadium on gamedays at home for disabled people.

62 places for wheelchair users are to be spread across all four stands in the new renovation.