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Italy: 2012-13 Serie A – Top of the Table chart, featuring 2011-12 Serie A champion Juventus / Plus 2012-13 Serie A Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data. « billsportsmaps.com

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August 24, 2012

Italy: 2012-13 Serie A – Top of the Table chart, featuring 2011-12 Serie A champion Juventus / Plus 2012-13 Serie A Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Italy — admin @ 3:01 pm
    Juventus – champions of Italy (for the 28th time)…

juventus_2011-12_serie-a_champions_segment_e.gif
Juventus – 2011-12 Serie A champions.




(Note: to see my latest map-and-post on Italian football, click on the following, category: Italy.)

Juventus Football Club won their 28th Italian title last season. Or their 30th Italian title, according to Juventus – ‘Juventus defiant in match-fix controversy‘ (edition.cnn.com, by Alex Thomas and Paul Gittings, from 22 May 2012). Juventus and some of their supporters still think that their club did nothing wrong in the Calciopoli scandal of 2006, and that they never should have been stripped of their 2005 and 2006 titles, and that their then-general manager Luciano Moggi never did anything wrong by virtually having every Serie A referee on his speed-dial and by being able to control which referees officiated which games {see this, ‘2006 Italian football scandal‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

And last year, the fallout from 2006 had barely subsided when a new scandal unfolded – ‘Italian football rocked by fresh match-fixing scandal‘ (guardian.co.uk/football, from 2 June 2011, by James Callow). If you want to know more about how this latest scandal affects the clubs in Serie A, see the last link, at the bottom of this post (an article by Amy Lawrence at guardian.co.uk/football). As far as the reigning champions are concerned, a 10-month touch-line ban for Juventus manager Antonio Conte has been imposed (for when Conte was manager of then-Serie-B-club Siena). But the evidence for that thread of the scandal rests with just one former Siena player, and appeals might change this ban. If not, Conte, sitting in the stands there in Turin, will probably just find some way to tell the coaches who to sub for – the way Jose Mourinho did. Italian society will probably never change – organized crime rules society there to such an extent that there often is the mind-set in Italy that you are not trying to succeed if you are not trying to get something by the authorities. From “The Camorra Never Sleeps”, an article by William Langieweische, “…{excerpt}…”In a place like Italy—where the recent prime minister condones tax evasion as a natural right and publicly impugns the courts—it becomes hard to believe that police actions are sincerely about law and order, or that officials still believe that law and order matter.”…{end of excerpt from page 6, paragraph 7 of vanityfair.com/culture/2012/05/naples-mob-paolo-di-lauro-italy. In business, this means finding extra-legal ways to avoid onerous taxes and regulations that would kill off a 100% legitimate enterprise. In sports, this means actively trying to fool the refs, or at the very least, actively trying to coerce the refs. So the act of players diving, in Serie A matches, is not only tolerated by some, it is expected. Because the logic here is that if you are not trying to fool the ref, that means you are not using every tool at your disposal, and therefore by not diving in the penalty box and trying to win a penalty kick for your team by faking the act of being fouled, you are actually working against your own team’s best interests. And so in this context football club general managers, like Moggi was for Juventus, are expected to try to exert control over referees. This fluid moral code is a theme that runs throughout the book ‘Calcio: A History of Italian Football’ by John Foot {at amazon.com, here}. Here is an excerpt from the book’s preface…
[excerpt]…’A better way way to see calcio is as a kind of fanatical civic religion – where loyalty is total and obsession the norm. Fair play seemed to me to be a concept absent from Italian football discourse. Diving was common and not particularly frowned upon – as long as it worked. In fact, commentators often praised the ‘craftiness’ of non-sportsmanship. There was no moral code here. Winners were always ‘right’, losers always wrong. ‘…[end of excerpt].

What, hopefully, might change in Italy is Italian football clubs’ reliance on lame, dreary, soul-less running-track-scarred municipal stadiums. You can say what you want about Juventus (and I just did), but, as with regards to the future of stadium construction in Italy, Juventus has now shown the way. The completion of Juventus Stadium (opened in August 2011) makes Juventus the only Serie A club to build and own their own stadium. It’s about time. And Juventus Stadium is stunning, and beautiful, and the steep angles of the stands {see this} affords spectators great views and comfortable seating. And there is no ridiculous, atmosphere-deadening running track, so the spectators are about as close to the field of play as is possible, the way football matches should be staged.

There are 20 clubs in the 2012-13 Serie A. 5% of them own their own stadium. 95% of them play in stadiums that were built by, are owned by, and are maintained by state institutions – in either municipal stadiums (85% of the clubs) or in a venue built and owned by the Italian National Olympic Committee (Stadio Olimpico in Rome, home of Lazio and Roma). Of the 17 stadiums that will be hosting Serie A matches in the 2012-13 Serie A season, 7 of them have running tracks which make the closest seats in some sections of the stadiums 15 or 20 meters away from the field. And almost every one of these municipal stadiums with running tracks feature seats that are set in stands that are at a very shallow incline, so by the 20th row or so, the football match you are trying to watch is pretty hard to see.

Here are the 8 clubs playing in the 2012-13 Serie A that play in venues that have a running track – Bologna, Catania, Lazio, Napoli, Pescara, Roma, Siena, and Udinese. Plus in several instances, in the stadiums of Fiorentina, Palermo, Torino, and Atalanta, the municipalities in each case either filled in the running-track-sections of the stadiums with new sections of stands (like at Fiorentina’s stadium, Stadio Artemio Franchi {see photos here at fussballtempel.net}, or they just planted grass there and left a bit of the track (like at Palermo’s Stadio Renzo Barberasee this photo by frakorea at flickr.com). That sort of re-build yields unsatisfactory results, and even in the nicest re-build, Torino FC’s stadium, Stadio Olimpico di Torino, the ghost of the running track and the divide it created between stands and playing field is still there, as you can see here. In all of Serie A there are only 3 top claiber stadiums – San Siro in Milan (the venue of Inter and Milan – here is Stadium Guide.com’s page on San Siro with some photos at the bottom of the page]; Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa (the venue of Sampdoria and Genoa – a couple of photos here {worldstadiums.com), and now Juventus Stadium. Special mention must go to the municipality of Parma and home of Parma FC – Stadio Ennio Tardini, which is a stadium with some charm (despite being a utilitarian bowl-shape), with some nicley-angled stands {see bing.com/Bird’s Eye view of Parma FC’s home, here [to enlarge, multiple-click on magnify sign (plus-sign) at top right], and could be seen to be on par with some of the nicer French municipal stadiums (like at RC Lens and at Saint-Étienne).

How is it that big, and even medium-sized football clubs in England, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, and Portugal can build and maintain their own stadiums, but in places in Europe like Italy and in places in South America like Brazil, almost every club, even the big clubs, must rely on municipalities to build and maintain their stadiums? Municipalities that end up doing a ham-handed job of building insipid multi-purpose stadiums which are almost always devoid of any charm or character and which inevitably feature a running track. Who the heck cares about track and field outside of the Olympics? No one. Sure, governments, or municipalities themselves, should build running tracks, just like they should build libraries. But they don’t put libraries in buildings the size of aircraft hangers, so why do municipalities in Europe and in South America put running tracks in venues that are way too big for the demand? Why do they have to put them in 40,000-seat municipal stadiums? When was the last time, say, Naples really needed that running track in their Stadio San Paolo, because 60,000 Neopolitans were going to attend a track-and-field event? I am willing to wager that the answer is never. Just look at that soul-destroying vast yawning gap there between the fans in the stands and the playing field {here}. You see, Stadio San Paolo was built as a venue for the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics. So you’re thinking…Hey Bill, that just disproves your whole argument. Well, it would if the Olympic event that the Naples stadium was hosting in the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics was track and field. But it wasn’t. Stadio San Paolo in Naples hosted football in the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics. The city planners built the stadium specifically for football – in the Olympics that Italy was hosting – but those clueless city planners still built it with that STUPID USELESS RUNNING TRACK that ruins it for football and is fundamentally useless for anything else… because no one gives a flying fuck about stupid boring pointless track-and-field.

Those running tracks serve no purpose, situated as they are within stadiums that are also home to a football club that draws 20K or 30 K or 40K or more, twenty times a year. Tell me the last time a track and field event outside of the Olympics drew 40,000 people? 30,000 people? 20,000 people? OK, not counting the runners’ Mecca of the state of Oregon, where they recently had 20,000 at a US Track and Field event. But there are no pro soccer stadiums or college gridiron football stadiums in Oregon that have a running track in the stadium. So the place in the world with probably the highest percentage of runners (Oregon) doesn’t even see the need to put running tracks in large multi-purpose municipal stadiums that house their biggest sports teams. The idea of putting a running track into a sports stadium does exist in the USA, but it almost always is with regards to lower-division college sports programs or high school sports stadiums. I am pretty sure there is not one single example in the United States of an NCAA Division I FBS college football stadium that has a running track, out of a total 120 teams in Division I FBS [It turns out I was wrong - 5 of the 120 teams in NCAA Division I FBS play in stadiums with a running track - the Buffalo Bulls, the Eastern Michigan Eagles, the Nevada Wolf Pack, the SMU Mustangs, and the Texas State Bobcats - see comments #1 and #2 below. But that percentage - 4.1% - is still less than any Western European football league with the exception of England and Netherlands (who currently have zero top-flight clubs that play in stadiums with running tracks). And those 5 college gridiron football teams in the top level in America are mostly part of small but growing programs that will in all likelihood eventually move into a new, running-track-free stadium in the near future (except for Eastern Michigan)].

Here is an article I found when I Googled ‘attendance at track and field events’, ‘Empty Bleachers: Getting Fans To Attend Our Best Meets‘ (flotrack.org/blog). And in the interest of full disclosure, I actually did find the mention of recent (2009) attendances of track events in Rabat, Morocco and in Belém, Brazil which drew in the 30 to 35,000 range {http://mb.trackandfieldnews.com/discussion/viewtopic.php?t=35496/ first poster at top of page}

But regardless, those anomalies aside, there is basically no public demand for track and field events outside the Olympics. However, there is plenty of public demand for top flight football, almost everywhere in the world – even, to a lesser extent in the USA and Canada {forget about Australia, though). Which is why English and Spanish and German and Dutch and Portuguese football clubs are able to build and own their own stadiums. These clubs had the means to build and own their own stadiums because the ticket-paying demand was there. You know, there has always been a huge demand for professional top flight football in Italy. And there have been millions of tickets bought to top flight football matches through the years in Italy. So why did over 95% of Italian football clubs, even the biggest clubs with hundreds of thousands of paying customers each season, never have the means (or the desire) to build their own stadiums?

From BBC.co.uk/Football, from 6 May 2012, ‘Juventus wrap up Italian Serie A championship in style‘.

From UEFA.com, ‘Season review: Italy‘.

From guardian.co.uk, from 15 Aug. 2012, by Amy Lawrence, ‘Juventus turmoil leaves Roma and Napoli ready to pounce –
Coach Antonio Conte’s 10-month ban could derail the Serie A champions, but Milan and Internazionale have problems too
‘.

    Italian clubs playing in Europe for 2012-13 – Juventus FC, AC Milan, Udinese Calcio, SS Lazio, SSC Napoli, FC Internazionale -

2012-13_serie-a_clubs-in-europe_.segment_c.gif

    2012-13 Serie A Location-map, with attendance data -

2012-13_serie-a_location-map_attendance_segment_.gif
Note:
Cagliari playing in Trieste (April 2012 article), football.thestar.com.my/2012/04/21/cagliari-to-play-three-more-games-in-trieste.
Attendance data from european-football-statistics.co.uk.
Map by TUBS at en.wikipedia.org, ‘Italy provincial location map.svg‘.

Juventus photos on the chart page -
Celebration, todayheads.com.
Manager,both photos of Antonio Conte by Massimo Pinca/AP via article.wn.com.
Players -
Alessandro Matri – Photo unattributed at forzaitalianfootball.com/2011/04/player-profile-alessandro-matri.
Claudio Matri – Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
– Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images Europe) via zimbio.com.
Andrea Pirlo – Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images via sportsillustrated.cnn.com.
Stadium -
Aerial photo of Juventus Stadium [unattributed] from stadiumporn.com
Exterior photos of Juventus Stadium with crowd in foreground [unattributed], segment of outside shell of stadium [unattributed], and segment of exterior with Juventus Football Club sign [unattributed] from AP via newshopper.sulekha.com.
Large exterior photo of Juventus Stadium [unattributed] from stadiumporn.com.
Interior photo of Juventus Stadium [at the far right on the page] by Massimo Pinca/AP via goal.blogs.nytimes.com
Photo of 2011-12 Juventus home kit badge from mykitshop.com.

Other clubs on the chart page -
AC Milan/Stadio Giusseppe Meazza (aka San Siro) – Photo of Milan ultras from Fossa dei Leoni site via vb.acmilanclub.com . Photo of interior of San Siro by Alessandro Mogliani at en.wikipedia.org. Exterior photo of San Siro by Sotutto at en.wikipedia.org.

Udinese/Stadio Friuli – Photo of Udinese fans [unattributed], Getty Images via IndiaTimes.com. Interior photo of Stadio Friuli by, Martaudine at it.wikipedia.org. Aerial image of Stadio Friuli from bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.

Lazio/Stadio Olimpico – Photo of Lazio’s eagle mascot being released for it’s regular flight around Stadio Olympico [unattributed] from imageshack.us. Photo of Lazio fans in Curva Nord by Andrea Buratti at en.wikipedia.org. Night-time aerial photo of Stadio Olimpico by Maori19 at it.wikipedia.org.

Napoli/Stadio San Paolo – Photo of traveling Napoli fans at Siena (Jan. 2012) by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Photo of upper tier at Stadio San Paolo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda-Photo.com. Aerial image of Stadio San Paolo from bing.com/maps/Bird’s Eye satellite view.

Internazionale/San Siro – Photo of Inter fans with giant banner in Curva Nord of San Siro by batrax at Flickr.com, here. Interior photo of San Siro from SanSiro.net. Exterior photo of San Siro by Sotutto at en.wikipedia.org.

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