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By ESPN Staff
Nov 21, 2008

Fans come first in Juventus' new stadium plans

Juventus unveiled final plans for their new stadium on Thursday, which this time will be all about the Serie A club's fans.

The Stadio Delle Alpi, built for the World Cup in 1990, became one of the most unloved stadiums in the world because of a running track that kept supporters well away from the pitch and spoilt the atmosphere.

Turin-based Juve left the stadium two years ago to share the smaller Stadio Olimpico with Torino but will return to a new version of the Delle Alpi, with a sponsor's name, in 2011.

Club captain Alessandro Del Piero was among the delegation to present the architect's plan for a stadium that will have 40,200 seats and put fans as close to the action as possible. It will resemble Munich's Allianz Arena.

"We wanted a stadium that was something more than a new stadium," chief executive Jean-Claude Blanc, who took over in 2006 when the club was demoted in a match-fixing scandal, told reporters.

"They have been two very difficult years but we are here because we have played as a team."

The new stadium, "without barriers", will rise from the foundations of the Delle Alpi and will cost about 105 million euros ($131.5 million), 75 million of which will come from naming rights.

The relatively low cost allows Juventus, who confirmed plans to move in March, to plough on with the project when other new stadiums, such as Liverpool's, are held up by the global financial crisis.

The company that will build the stadium will be chosen in March and marketing firm Sportfive will help find a sponsor with a decision expected by April when the first stone is laid.

Commercial enterprises will also help pay the bills with the new stadium, which will open seven days a week, housing 24 bars and eight restaurant areas.

Many top Italian stadiums are ageing with Serie A champions Inter Milan, who host rivals Juve on Saturday, considering leaving the San Siro.

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