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SATO Know the Pitch: Sant’Elia

Stadio Sant’Elia is home to Cagliari and the venue opened in 1970 making this the forty year anniversary of the grounds.  Stadio Sant’Elia, like most stadiums, has undergone many alterations over the years and the current venue is much smaller in capacity then the original design.

In fact the stadium has heard a lot of negative opinions for these changes that were made, but like most Italian stadiums, the changes were made to please World Cup fans when Italy hosted the tournament in 1990.  Sant’Elia was a host to an opening round group bracket that year, and like most stadiums that remodel, their grounds made the stadium more comfortable to view a game.  Unfortunately, this meant that around half of the initial seating arrangements were removed from the venue and what was once a stadium that could fit around 50,000 people now fits less then 25,000 fans. 

One nice addition that they did make is that the stands are now closer to the pitch then they are in the picture above, but reducing your stadium to 50% of it’s original size is a frowned upon notion to fans of Cagliari.  The club is planning, like most Italian clubs, on building a new venue sometime in the near future and the club’s owner, Massimo Cellino, has even offered to cover the entire tab of the construction and design costs.  The Cagliari government still did not feel comfortable allowing the club president to undergo this project and the idea is temporarily on hold for now.