IN SHORT

Structure: Multipurpose sports centre with 8-lane athletics track

First inauguration: 6th December 1959

Most Recent Restyling: 2019

Total square footage of the track: 10,000 m2

Seating capacity: 55,000


(Italy)

Located in the Fuorigrotta quarter of Naples, the San Paolo stadium has been one of the city's icons for more than the past 60 years. In 2019 the sports facility underwent both a functional and an aesthetic restyling: key areas of intervention were replacing the seats and the athletics track.

In July 2019 the stadium hosted the opening ceremony and the games for the 30th summer Universiade.

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“We are proud that, thanks to the Universiade, we have given the city, its football team and its audience a stadium on a par with the other international-level facilities.” Gianluca Basile, Universiade Special Commissioner

The opening ceremony for the 30th Summer Universiade was held one year ago, on 3 July 2019. At the event Naples' Stadio San Paolo shone in all its new splendour, having just undergone a significant restyling. Among other changes, a new athletics track and new seats were installed.

History of the San Paolo stadium in Naples

Construction of the stadium that would become an iconic landmark in Naples started in 1952. Only a few years earlier, the bombs dropped during the war had destroyed one of the largest stadiums in the city: Stadio Partenopeo (previously known as Stadio Giorgio Ascarelli). The new stadium was inaugurated on 6 December 1959, four days after its completion, and was initially dubbed Stadio del Sole before a name change in 1963 gave it its current moniker: Stadio San Paolo.

Maintenance work over the years

Several maintenance operations have shaped the stadium over the years: the first major renovation in the ‘80s was followed by a subsequent modernisation of the facilities with major restructuring that came to a close in 1990. The renovations were executed to prepare for the 1990 world football championship (Italia ‘90).

Restyling San Paolo for the 30th Universiade

The recent restyling of San Paolo stadium started in 2018 and focused on improving the look and functionality of the structure. Two key elements were affected by the modernisation project: the seats and the athletics track.

The new seats at Stadio San Paolo

Before the seats were replaced, work was done to repair and waterproof the pre-stressed reinforced concrete steps that serve as a base for the seats in the main stands.

The old seats were then replaced with 55,000 new light blue, blue, white, yellow and grey seats arranged to create a creative pixel-like effect. The new seats are all produced by MONDO: the Mondoseat Novanta/3.40 and Mondoseat Novanta/35 are one-piece seats, while the G2007 is a foldable seat.

The Mondoseat Novanta/3.40 and Mondoseat Novanta/35 are made using a single block of injection-moulded thermoplastic material, with no metal inserts:  the main phases of production can be seen in this video.

The seats were designed with special attention to ergonomics, to guarantee comfort, especially in the “sitting and moving” posture that is typical of spectators at sports events and competitions. Two tip-up seat models were installed in the VIP and VVIP area to ensure the ultimate comfort of the spectator.

The new athletics track at Naples' San Paolo stadium

The restyling also included a complete makeover of the athletics track at San Paolo stadium, including the track ring and the jump ramp. The new track replaced a previous track made of MONDO Sportflex Super X vulcanised rubber, which had been installed in 1989 and had received only limited maintenance over the years. The original track surface was completely removed and the bituminous subfloor was remade before laying the new prefabricated Mondotrack WS surface. The newly installed track, an intense and uniform sky blue surface created with 10,000 square metres of prefabricated vulcanised rubber, is IAAF Class 1 certified. The surface combines an upper layer designed to offer ultimate uniformity and elastic rebound in a single material with a lower layer made of elongated hexagonal pockets of air that offer the perfect blend of shock absorption and energy storage and return.

Restyling the San Paolo stadium in Naples: the final result

Work to rebuild the athletics track and replace the seats was precisely scheduled and was completed in time for the opening ceremony of the 30th Universiade, 3 July 2019, exactly as planned.

The Special Commissioner for the Universiade, Gianluca Basile, who visited the stadium as the final seats were being installed, stated, “We are proud that, thanks to the Universiade, we have given the city, its football team and its audience a stadium on a par with the other international-level facilities.”

The final look achieved at San Paolo stadium in Naples is unique: the uniform sky blue colour of the new track and the grey used for the inserts that link the track to the central pitch create a pleasant optical effect that blends smoothly with the colours chosen for the new seats.

30th Universiade 2019: athletics takes centre stage at Stadio San Paolo

All of the athletics competitions for the 30th Universiade were held at Stadio San Paolo, featuring 1251 athletes from 98 nations. Italy won the gold in athletics 4 times, ultimately earning 5th place in the discipline, behind Japan, Ukraine, Australia and Brazil. Two of Italy's female athletes earned the top spot on the podium after racing on the new MONDO track itself: Luminosa Bogliolo (specialisation 100m Hurdles) and Ayomide Folorunso (specialisation 400m Hurdles).

 

For more information about the flooring for the athletics track or about the MONDO seats installed you can contact MONDO directly.

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