There are only five teams in Italy to have a new stadium owned, 4 are from Serie A Udinese, Juventus, Sassuolo, Atalanta, and one from Serie B Frosinone. A fact that is part of a picture that is anything but positive in terms of sports infrastructure. A 2018 research by the Milan Polytechnic Observatory showed that the average age of the Serie A stadiums was 64, 68 for the Serie B ones, and that the last major restyling dates back to the 1990s World Cup. In short, old and dilapidated stadiums, far from the European standards with which our football has been trying for years to reduce a qualitative gap that in the current situation seems to be unbridgeable.
Finally it seems that many clubs are mobilizing more or less concretely to equip themselves with stadiums in step with the times. From Milan and Inter to Cagliari and Bologna, also passing through clubs of lower categories such as Venezia. Coni, Lega Calcio and FIGC have also moved on with a letter addressed to the Government.
There is a desire for renewal for an issue that also closely concerns social responsibility. In fact, a modern stadium is also a precious asset for the entire community. A service provider and place to live 7 days a week in which to cultivate the bond between the club and its territory, and through which to strengthen its role as an educational agency.
In Italy, unfortunately, we are late on the subject, talking about sports facilities in general, but if we focus on the stadiums we notice that not only are they not yet read as urban regenerators, with all the difficulties we feel about every day, clubs in promoting their requalification, but from a social point of view the potential is not perceived at all. A paradox, given that there is a widespread but practically unused offer of sports facilities. Structures that are hardly seen as resources capable of generating value in a broad sense and that remain so little usable and little valued.
Unlike what happens abroad, the stadium has only recently begun to be considered as a resource in which to invest and from which to expect more than a place to watch the game. So I think it is still difficult to decide to take a step towards a theme that is still in many ways slowed down, of which there is no certainty of a return. This, however, ignoring the fact that the value that can be generated is not only direct and economic.
Teams with a modern stadium such as Juventus have already begun to make their facilities more accessible to the public for the whole week, organizing events or initiatives for the school. In addition, some are paying attention to the services to be hosted and the quality of the outdoor spaces, to implement a real urban redevelopment that serves the whole community.
We need a strong, radical change, an organic acceleration towards those policies of social responsibility that seriously aim at cultivating the relationship with one’s own territory, triggering a virtuous circle capable of bringing more and more resources and benefits.
Designing with a focus on the community, because sport is first of all a social vehicle that can prove to be extremely effective for transmitting values and fortifying one’s identity.
As conclusion, sports facilities can and must become a place, a place that becomes a lever for social regeneration, where to create shared value in support of collective development. Investing in sports infrastructure with projects aimed at the community is truly a gesture of social responsibility.