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Fiorentina stadium reconstuction: Still no temporary home in place

The Fiorentina stadium reconstruction has been talked about for many years. Yet the Tuscan club are yet to find a temporary stadium to play their Serie A home matches, as reconstruction work on the Stadio Artemio Franchi is set to begin in April.

Work on the reconstruction must begin by March 31, 2024, and be completed by December 31, 2024. If these strict deadlines are not met, Fiorentina will lose the €151 million granted from a European fund for the restoration of the iconic ground, unless the club are granted an extension.

In order for the renovation to begin within the scheduled timeframe, a stand in the Stadio Artemio Franchi must be closed by the end of January, so that the whole Fiorentina stadium redevelopment project can begin in April.

The project is estimated to be completed by early 2027, so in the meantime, Fiorentina must find a temporary home to play their home matches.

Relocation options for Fiorentina stadium project dismissed

Finding a temporary stadium when the works on the Franchi stadium are set to begin has proved difficult for Fiorentina.

They have tried to relocate to Stadio Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, however, that is also undergoing reconstruction work up until the summer of 2025. Bologna will also play in a temporary stadium during the reconstruction.

Empoli’s stadium, Stadio Carlo Castellani, which is only a 45-minute drive from Florence, has also been vetoed as a temporary home for La Viola.

The Empoli problem

The Mayor of Empoli, Brenda Barnini, has decided against Fiorentina sharing the ground with Empoli due to safety concerns in the area.

As well as this, there is a Sports Hall next to the stadium, which presents further complications as other sports competitions won't be able to go ahead when a football match takes place.

Fiorentina - Castellani
Stadio Carlo Castellani has been discussed as a potential temporary home for Florentina – Photo by Icon Sport

Barnini upheld her position in a meeting that took place on January 11, 2024. The meeting was attended by club representatives from Fiorentina and Empoli, the majors of both cities, and a Serie A delegate.

Barnini’s mayoral candidate, Alessio Mantellassi, has also expressed indifference to ground sharing the Castellani stadium, due to similar concerns about public order.

Fiorentina stadium alternative solutions 

Fiorentina’s training ground, Rocco b Commisso Viola Park, is located in the Bagno a Ripoli area. The mayor of Bagno a Ripoli, Francesco Casini, has proposed a review of the project, which involves halting the stadium renovation plans and postponing the deadlines set by the national government.

It has also been suggested that Fiorentina could be located to the Padovani stadium, which is next to the Franchi stadium and usually hosts rugby matches.

However, the Padovani stadium only holds around 2,000 seats, so it would require significant redevelopment and investment. Bagno a Ripoli municipality has offered to invest €10 million to increase the capacity to 8,000.

Although Serie A regulations require a minimum capacity of 12,000, the league would permit the use of the Padovani due to Fiorentina’s unique situation.

It is worth noting that an additional €5 million of investment is required. However, Fiorentina are unwilling to do this as they sold 17,000 season tickets this season, meaning an 8,000-seat capacity would not be sufficient and lead to significant economic losses.