Juventus hope new stadium will bring results

Juventus will inaugurate their own new 122 million euro stadium on Thursday with the hope that it will help them return to the top of the Italian football tree.

Updated: September 06, 2011 22:36 IST
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Turin: Juventus will inaugurate their own new 122 million euro stadium on Thursday with the hope that it will help them return to the top of the Italian football tree.

The Turin giants will become the first team in Italy to own their stadium following years renting first the Stadio delle Alpi and then the Stadio Olimpico, sharing both with cross-town rivals Torino.

But the new stadium, modelled on the likes of modern grounds such as the Allianz Arena in Munich or London's Wembley, will help the team on the pitch according to Juve president Andrea Agnelli.

"The new stadium can give us 10 points a season," he said.

His belief is that by owning their home stadium, Juve will be able to exploit the commercial aspects of such a move and hence earn more money and become more competitive in the transfer market.

And that is something Juve need following successive seventh-placed finishes seeing them miss out on the Champions League two seasons in a row.

This summer they also missed out on a host of big signings, unable to offer the salaries or the challenges top players were looking for.

However, the 41,000-capacity venue does at least give them an advantage over their major rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan who share the San Siro stadium owned by the city of Milan.

"Italy is an anomaly. In the big European leagues 25-27 percent of revenue comes from the stadium, in Italy it's just 13 percent," explained the club's new commercial director Francesco Calvo.

Calvo expects Juve to increase their stadium receipts from 11 million euros last season to 32 million euros in this campaign, thanks to the new stadium.

"It's the stadium that will change football," he added.

"With 85 percent of 4,000 boxes sold during this time of recession, that's a great success."

That's a good start for a team that despite being the best-supported in Italy is a stranger to a sell-out crowd.

Not since the good old days of the Stadio Comunale, before the delle Alpi was built for the 1990 World Cup, have Juve been able to sell-out a stadium.

Even with the modest size of the Olimpico (less than 30,000 places) Juve struggled to get a sell-out even for their biggest Champions League games or clashes with the Milan teams.

For club captain Alessandro Del Piero, this will be his fourth home stadium as a Juve player.

"My fourth stadium in black-and-white (Juve's colours), that's my strangest record and certainly a tough one to beat," he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I hope it will absorb all the victorious energy of the delle Alpi.

"This time we're really at home and I hope that will create a feeling between us and the fans who could become our 12th man."

It will certainly be a relief for fans who never took to either the delle Alpi or the Olimpico.

Despite boasting millions of fans across Italy, Juve rarely filled more than a third of the 70,000 capacity delle Alpi.

Supporters complained it was difficult to get to and that the unused running track surrounding it kept them too far away from the action.

But they didn't like the Olimpico either, which was a rebuilt version of the old Comunale and inaugurated for the 2006 Winter Olympics and shared with Torino.

Now they will finally enter the modern era with their own stadium, which will be first used on Thursday when Notts County are the visitors for the inauguration, having been the team who Juve's black and white stripes were modelled on.

Then on Sunday Parma will be in town for the first Serie A match at the new stadium and, Juve are hoping, the beginning of a new and glorious era.

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