The works on the Rinascimento Tribune and part of the Curva Sud Morosini of the Gewiss Stadium continue at full speed. Uefa’s visit to Bergamo has been confirmed for the second week of September, a 5th construction site that will affect the pitch will soon be opened, the works will have to be completed by the end of September. Here’s the interview with the COO Roberto Spagnolo.
The initial schedule covered 120 days of work, it’s been about two months. How far have we come?
“We are well underway, as, although we postponed the start of the work by one month, we made up for lost time, we are working, perhaps even causing some annoyance [to the citizens] that we have now overcome, as we have to work even at night. I’d like to apologise to the citizens, who will eventually have something nice when it’s ready, also for the redevelopment of the neighbourhood itself. We are in line with the work schedule, we are making up for the month lost”.
120 days must become 90, because by the end of September, on the 30th, the stadium must be ready. You are currently working on four construction sites.
“Exactly. There are now 4 construction sites, as there is the construction site of the Rinascimento Tribune, but at the same time we are refurbishing the facade. We have the urbanisation of the Piazzale dello Sport. And last but not least, as it’s the desire, the gem and – above all – the bet that we made to bring the Champions League to Bergamo. Hence, we’re also working on the Curva Sud”.
So, you started a fourth construction site on the Curva Sud Morosini, which wasn’t initially planned.
“I want to say that this is the clear desire of the ownership, knowing that all the investment – which is over 1 million of investments – is non-repayable. But this is for the satisfaction to bring the UCL to Bergamo and Percassi, once again, put his hand in his pocket”.
What are you doing in the Curva Sud Morosini, specifically?
“Specifically, we tore down the tubular parterre and we’ll have to rebuild a fixed parterre, as they demand”.
Following the criteria imposed by UEFA.
“We’ll obviously put seats in compliance with law on the terraces with the backrest. And we’re already working on implementing toilet facilities and rooms dedicated to first aid, inside, under the existing stands. It’s a strong task, both for the time, as this is the fourth construction site, which hadn’t been scheduled, still in 90 days. I must add that last Friday I received the confirmation by UEFA that on 7 and 8 September they will come over to make the inspection. After the inspection, we’ll be 100% sure if we can play the UCL in Bergamo. I’m optimistic because a fifth construction site will begin next week, which will be on the pitch, the theatre, as I call it. We believe so much in the fact of playing the UCL here that we will work on this by making a vertical binding with synthetic wire to make it more resistant, seen the number of matches we’ll have to play in Bergamo, the Champions League included”.
Atalanta in the Champions League is history, Atalanta in the Champions League in Bergamo is another beautiful page of history to write.
“Yes. This will be our flagship, knowing how much we have to struggle, but like I said before, it will be our flagship, as the Percassi’s wanted at all costs – “causing us many troubles” regarding the construction site [laughs] – to bring the Champions League to Bergamo”.
From three to five construction sites, from 120 days of work to 90, but the deadline is always the same: the 30th of September.
“We must consider that the 90 days have become even less, as the great problem we had was to demolish and rebuild, while playing in Bergamo, keeping the plant structure, cameras and lighting active. On matchdays we lost a day and a half of work. In fact we lost, not a month, but 15 days of work. Subtract 15 from 90 days and then you’ll have an idea how much the people who are working here are putting their soul into it to carry out this work”.
The Curva Nord Pisani was a challenge, but also this year’s works are no joke.
“It’s a challenge because generally refurbishments are challenging. Moreover, for the Curva Nord, although economically demanding, as it’s majestic, gigantic, time wasn’t much, but actually that was a reconstruction. Here, we’re talking about refurbishment, as we had to keep the historic building, the old building of the early twentieth century. We hadn’t relevant documents to understand how it had been built. We did some surveys, but then, in this type of refurbishments, when we started working we had to change in progress, because we found beams that hadn’t been marked or cisterns that weren’t there. We had to and we are completely revolutionising the project during construction. We are working day by day on the project to follow the refurbishment of the facade”.