Juventus open door to new home with lavish ceremony | inside World Soccer


Juventus open door to new home with lavish ceremony

Friday, September 9, 2011

Italian giants Juventus brought the curtain up on their new 41,000 capacity stadium with a lavish opening ceremony where English minnows Notts County were the guests of honour.

A general view during the ceremony of inauguration of the new Juventus stadium
A general view during the ceremony of inauguration of the new Juventus stadium

Photo: Getty Images

They could have invited the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester United to inaugurate their fine new home.

Instead a great Italian institution summoned the club standing 12th in the third tier of English football to join Thursday's opening ceremony.

It was the English club, in 1903, who answered the call of a Juventus member, an Englishman named John Savage, to send the black-and-white kits that the League One side still wear and the Bianconeri have worn for every one of their record 27 Scudetti.

Back to the show, the brilliantly staged gala featured a brass band, speeches, fireworks, a diva on stilts, film clips of Omar Sívori and John Charles on giant screens, the mass singing of "Juve, Storia Di Un Grande Amore", huge replicas of the club's trophies, Juve president Andrea Agnelli cutting a ribbon with golden scissors, dancers dressed as zebras and a quietly devastating parade of 39 white-clad children representing the Heysel dead.

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli cuts the ribbon during the inauguration of their new stadium
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli cuts the ribbon during the inauguration of their new stadium

Photo: Getty Images

The Old Lady then rounded out the night's proceedings with a 1-1 draw against the Magpies.

Luca Toni scored the first goal in the new stadium early in the second half, only for Lee Hughes equalised for the visitors three minutes from full-time.

Juventus will play their first official match in the new stadium against Parma on Sunday to open Serie A.

"I am proud that Juventus finally has its own home," said Agnelli. "For us it is an historic moment.

"In addition to its sentimental value, the new stadium is actually an investment that allows us to bring Juventus to the level of the top clubs in Europe.

"In addition, being close to the playing field, the fans can participate and let their team hear all their support."

Built in the area that housed the Stadio Delle Alpi, where Juventus played from 1990 to 2006, the new stadium has a capacity of 41,000 seatsand covers, with the external areas, an area about 360,000 square meters, which also includes the impressive shopping mall "Area 12", the Museum (which will open next spring), 30,000 square meters of green areas and about 4000 parking places.

It features 84 luxury boxes, a commercial center to be opened next month and two restaurants in addition to normal bars with eating areas.

With no running track, the seats are close to the pitch and the benches are in the first rows of the stands like at some English stadiums.

Watch the ceremony of inauguration of the new Juventus stadium


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