Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino
Juventus v Chelsea, Champions League, Stadio Olimpico, Turin, 2009.jpg
Full nameStadio Olimpico Grande Torino
Former namesStadio Municipale Benito Mussolini
Stadio Comunale Vittorio Pozzo
LocationTurin, Italy
Coordinates45°2′30.30″N 7°39′0.05″E / 45.0417500°N 7.6500139°E / 45.0417500; 7.6500139Coordinates: 45°2′30.30″N 7°39′0.05″E / 45.0417500°N 7.6500139°E / 45.0417500; 7.6500139
OwnerCity of Turin
Capacity27,958[1][2]
Field size105 m x 68 m
SurfaceGrass
Construction
BuiltSeptember 1932 – May 1933
OpenedMay 14, 1933; 89 years ago (1933-05-14)
Renovated2006; 16 years ago (2006)
Tenants
Torino (1958–1990, 2006–present)
Juventus (1933–1990, 2006–2011)
Italy national football team (selected matches)

The Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino[3] (English: Grande Torino Olympic Stadium) is a multi-purpose stadium located in Turin, Italy. It is the home ground of Serie A club Torino Football Club. The stadium is located in Piazzale Grande Torino, in the district of Santa Rita, in the south-central area of the city. The stadium is currently rated by UEFA as a Category 4 stadium, the highest ranking possible.

Constructed in the 1930s, and originally known as the Stadio Municipale Benito Mussolini (or colloquially the Stadio Municipale) and later the Stadio Comunale, it was the home of Juventus and Torino until 1990, when it was abandoned in favour of the Stadio delle Alpi. After a sixteen-year stint without Serie A football, the stadium was renovated and renamed the "Stadio Olimpico" on the occasion of the 2006 Winter Olympics. In a reversal of 1990, both Juventus and Torino moved back to the Olimpico, with Juventus using it until the end of the 2010–11 season, and Torino retaining it as their home stadium to the present day.

History

The original project: Stadio Municipale Benito Mussolini

Aerial view of the Municipal stadium during the 1930s
Aerial view of the Municipal stadium during the 1930s

The stadium was originally named after Benito Mussolini, and was built to host the Littoriali Games of the fascist year XI, held in 1933 and the World Student Games in the same year.

The Municipal Administration, to shorten the construction time, announced a competition and divided the work among three companies: the stadium (stands, bleachers, and internal works) was entrusted to Saverio Parisi of Rome (and designed by the architect Rafaello Fagnoni and engineers Bianchini and Ortensi); the athletic field, the Tower of Marathon, and the ticket offices to Eng. Vannacci and Lucherini (project architect Brenno Del Giudice, Prof. Colonnetti and Eng. Vannacci), and the indoor pool to the Eng. E. Faletti Company (project architect Bonicelli and Eng. Villanova). The Eng. Guido De Bernardi Company undertook the preparation of fields and slopes.

Work began in September 1932. The stadium was inaugurated on 14 May 1933 by the Secretary of the National Fascist Party, Achille Starace, at the beginning of the Littoriali. The first soccer match played in the new stadium was between Juventus and Hungary's Újpest FC (6–2), the return leg of the quarter-finals of the Central European Cup, on 29 June 1933.

Stadio Mussolini during the 1930s

The original design stage consisted of an ellipsoid ring whose major perimeter was about 640 metres. The base consisted of a tier of white granite, on which a red plaster plinth rested. The 45 degree sloped stands were formed of the same material, delimiting three glass strips for the lighting of the interior, and crowned by a white parapet. Large windows overlooked the field, bounded by concrete pillars that supported the terminal cantilever, which protruded by more than three meters with an inclination of 45 degrees. Access to the interior were made through 27 openings, the main of which led to the grandstand, equipped with a weatherproof roof. The parterre was partly covered by cantilevered terraces that projected over it and was slightly raised in the farthest part from the field.

The playing field measures 70 x 105 metres, surrounded by an athletics track with six lanes, and pits for the shot put and discus, track for the long jump and the top corner. Initially, the curves of the athletics track were designed with three centres. After protests from the national executive Massimo Cartasegna (who had participated as an athlete in the 1908 Olympics), they were redesigned to a single centre. The result, however, was that the track had an abnormal length of 446.38 metres.

The post-war municipal stadium

After the stadium's inauguration it hosted several matches of the 1934 FIFA World Cup, held in Italy. In the 1934–35 season, the Stadio Olimpico di Torino began to host matches for the League Cup.

From the late 1950s, until the 1989–90 season, the stadium hosted the home games of both Turin teams in the Italian championship. The stadium was then abandoned in favor of the Stadio delle Alpi, built for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Between 1935 and 1986, Juventus were Italian champions 16 times (including five consecutive titles between 1931 and 1935), won 7 Italian Cups, several international titles, and one UEFA Cup (1976). For their part, between 1935 and 1976 Torino were 6-time Italian champions (also with five consecutive titles, between 1945 and 1949), and won 4 Italian Cups in the stadium.

From 1938 until the late 1950s, the stadium also housed the headquarters of the provisional Automobile Museum (opened in 1939).

It served as the main stadium of the Universiade in 1959 and 1970, hosted the 1970 Women's World Cup Final. In the 1980s the stadium was renamed "Vittorio Pozzo", in homage to the coach who was twice World Champion with the Italy national football team in 1934 and 1938, who also coached Torino between 1912 and 1922.

After the construction of Stadio delle Alpi, the Communal Stadium was used less and less, only accommodating the Juventus coaching activities (until 2003) and, from 2004, those of Turin.[4][5]

Reconstruction for the 2006 Winter Olympics

The stadium during the 2006 Winter Olympics
The stadium during the 2006 Winter Olympics

Following agreements with the City that entrusted the Stadio delle Alpi to Juventus, the Municipal Stadium was assigned to Torino, to be reconstructed and operational in time to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. However, due to the non-registration of the company grenade Championship (sanctioned definitively 9 August 2005), the City of Turin is the owner of the stadium and returned to complete the reconstruction.

The renovation project, supervised by Verona architects Giovanni Cenna Architetto e Arteco, has maintained the existing structures, subject to the constraints of the Superintendency of Environmental and Architectural Heritage, and added new structures to complete the coverage of the entire structure, and a third ring of tiers structurally continuous with the existing roof and with a closed section hosting 44 boxes. Approximately one third of the lining of the roof is translucent plastic, to avoid as much as possible damage caused to the turf due to less sunlight from the shadow of the roof. The total capacity is 27,168 seats, all covered and seated, lower than the original capacity (originally the facility could accommodate 65,000 people standing) to meet modern safety standards.

For ceremonies, temporary structures can expand capacity by 35,000 seats, plus construction of massive construction scenes for technical preparation of the Olympic flame.

Many interior changes were made: the new main building on the ground floor of a commercial area of 1,163 square meters; in the north-west, also restored and relocated were the center of sports medicine, all services and offices. Outside was built a new Olympic Park and a new Olympic Sports Hall, designed by Arata Isozaki of Japan.

The renovation of the stadium cost 30 million euros. The new Olympic Stadium was officially presented on 29 November 2005 in a ceremony attended by representatives of local government, the International Olympic Committee, and the TOROC.

Return of football (2006–present)

A Torino match in 2007
A Torino match in 2007

In 2006, the stadium returned to hosting football matches of Torino and Juventus. In 2011, Juventus moved to its new stadium, Juventus Stadium, on the site of Stadio delle Alpi. At the end of the ground-share, Torino can decide to purchase the facility and could rename it "Stadium Grande Torino", said Mario Pescante on the occasion of the inauguration of the renovated stadium.

Despite having physically eliminated the athletics track (in its place is a carpet of synthetic grass), the distance between the stands and the pitch has not changed. This caused disappointment among fans, who would have preferred to have the stands closer to the field, as in England. However, during the restructuring a new parterre was built, bringing the crowd closer to the front rows. 80 seats are reserved for disabled spectators in wheelchairs, including 64 located in two tribunes raised in the parterre of the first ring of separate stations, 12 in the grandstand and 4 in the boxes.

The Olympic Stadium was the first stadium in Italy to fully comply with the dictates of the "Pisanu Law" on stadium security. More than 80 surveillance cameras allow the police to locate and identify perpetrators of violence. The glass enclosure that separates the field from the spectators area, is movable. It is 2.2 metres (7 ft 3 in) high, but during games that do not raise risk of public policy may be lowered to 1.1 metres (3 ft 7 in). Furthermore, the use of technology was high: heating coils were placed below the field for use during cold temperatures and, in case of rain, an automatic system can cover the ground.

During its first two years of use, from 2006 to 2008, two separate security zones separated the opposing fans; the actual capacity was limited to 25,500 seats. During the summer of 2008 extensive renovations were made, in view of the return of Juventus to the Champions League. 1,350 new seats were installed, in four rows behind the first row of the gallery, creating a new ring on the area of the old track. To promote visibility of spectators in these new rows, barriers have been lowered to 1.10 meters, compared to the previous 2.20 meters. Finally, 650 seats were recovered with the downsizing of guest areas. The capacity thus became approximately 27,500 seats.

During the summer of 2009, more work was performed. The parapet separation was lowered to 1.10 meters in all sectors and 444 new seats were added in the parterre, bringing the total stadium capacity to 27,994 seats. Moreover, in the summer of 2012, have been eliminated also the barriers that divided the Curva Maratona with Maratona Laterale (formerly the guest's sector in the home matches of Juventus in the same season moved to the new Juventus Stadium), allowing a further increase in capacity from 27,994 places in 2009, to 28,140 today.

In April 2016, the Olimpico was renamed the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino in honour of the side from the 1940s.[2][6]

Stands

Curva Maratona (Curva Nord)

The Torre Maratona after the renovations of 2006
The Torre Maratona after the renovations of 2006

This section of the stadium is traditionally occupied by the nuclei of the most enthusiastically organised Torino supporters during home games. This name has been attributed to the presence, since the time of the Municipal Stadium, in the area behind the curve itself, of a high tower, the "Marathon Tower", as it is now called, since it stands near the entrance reserved during the Olympic Games for athletes participating in the marathon.

Curva Primavera (Curva Sud)

Torino fans in the Curva Primavera
Torino fans in the Curva Primavera

Since reopening the facility after the Winter Olympics in 2006, the south bend was renamed the Curva Primavera in honour of the Torino youth teams. In Italian, this literally translates to "Spring Curve".

Distinti Est

The Distinguished East (the east area of the stadium) has been the meeting place of families within the facility. On the left side is a separate sector, reserved for fans of visiting teams.

Distinti Ovest

The Distinguished West was the most expensive stand of the Olympic Stadium. This second level is reserved for journalists, commentators and prominent figures.

Concerts

When named the Stadio Comunale

Stadio Olimpico

Other sports

On 9 November 2013, it hosted Italy's end-of-year rugby union international against Australia, who won 50 - 20.

References

  1. ^ "Torino FC". Soccerway. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Stadi Serie A" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino" (in Italian). www.ticketone.it. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  4. ^ Pizzigallo, Claudio (21 April 2016). "SPECIALE STADI TORINO: I 5 impianti esistenti in cui hanno giocato Juve e Toro" (in Italian). Torino Today. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  5. ^ Pizzigallo, Claudio (21 April 2016). "Dall'Umberto I al "nuovo" Grande Torino, gli 11 stadi della storia calcistica torinese" (in Italian). Torino Today. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Torino stadium renamed". Football Italia. 24 April 2016.
Events and tenants Preceded byRice-Eccles StadiumSalt Lake City Winter OlympicsOpening and Closing Ceremonies (Olympic Stadium) 2006 Succeeded byBC PlaceVancouver Preceded byCamp Nou Barcelona Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final Venue 1965 Succeeded byTwo legged Final