Interesting Story of Stadio San Paolo

Interesting Story of Stadio

Interesting Story of Stadio San Paolo in Becoming Stadio Diego Armando Maradona

Interesting Story of Stadio

Interesting Story of Stadio San Paolo in Becoming Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. The popularity of The Stadio San Paolo has been prominent in which it is not only the third-biggest stadium in Italy but also becomes the icon of a soccer legend, Maradona. As the official Napoli football club stadium, The Stadio San Paolo becomes the ‘silent witness’ of Maradona’s triumph for almost a decade. Regardless of his absence after he was retiring, this stadium doesn’t lose its popularity. Even after the death of the legend, the name of the stadium was renamed “Stadio Diego Armando Maradona”. It was Aurelio De Laurentiis, Napoli’s president, and Luigi De Magistris, the mayor of Napoli who proposed the stadium rename in which the proposal was successfully passed by the City Council.

The Outstanding History of Stadio Diego Armando Maradona

Situated in the West part of Naples, the initial name of this stadium was Stadio del Sole. It was built in purpose to provide the home base for the city’s iconic club, Napoli. The old stadium, Stadio Partenopeo was ruined by air raids in the Second World War.  Years before the stadium was rebuilt, the club was playing at several temporary stadiums. None of those stadiums could provide the best support for the team and its increasing numbers of fans.

The overall rebuilding process took place from 1948 to 1959. For eleven years, the stadium was intended to become the main stadium for Rome’s 1960 Summer Olympics.  Then, Stadio San Paolo opened officially on December 6th, 1959. It was a match Napoli vs Juventus that marked the launching of the stadium. At that time, the stadium was still uncovered and only accommodated less than 88,000 spectators.

A huge renovation was completed before the stadium became the host of the 1980’s European Championships. The stadium hosted five games; several first-round matches and a third-place winner match, Czechoslovakia versus Italy, as well as the semi-final match, Argentina versus Italy where Maradona showed off his remarkable performance in beating the host nation.

The Reduced Capacity

Today, Stadio Diego Armando Maradona is still becoming the third biggest soccer stadium in the country. The capacity once could have room for more than 60,000 spectators. However, the older stadium before it was rebuilt could hold more than 109,000 spectators. But, the latest renovation of this stadium was before the preparation of the Summer Universiade in 2019. The metal fencing and some seats were replaced as it applied glass barriers. The capacity is now 54,726.

The limited capacity was becoming a huge problem in 2018. Back then, Aurelio de Laurentiis as the president of the club was highly upset with the very slow progress of redevelopment. He stated that the stadium resembled a ‘toilet’. For him, it was a nightmare to see such a limit with the status of Napoli at the international level. He asked the UEFA to authorize them to play Champions League matches at the stadium of Bari, as he was willing to pay for about a thousand buses for Napoli fans for attending the match.”

Now, the name ‘Diego Armando Maradona Stadio’is already accomplished. After such rejection from the city council and church which once insisted to keep the stadium’s name after St. Paul.

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