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The Stadio Olimpico is the main and largest sports facility of Rome, Italy. It is located within the Foro Italico sports complex on the north of the city. An asset of the Italian National Olympic Committee, the structure is intended primarily for football. It is the home stadium of Società Sportiva Lazio and Associazione Sportiva Roma and is the seat of the final Coppa Italia, and all athletics, but occasionally hosts concerts of light music and events of various kinds. Throughout its history, it has undergone three substantial restructurings and a complete restyling.
1937, the Stadio del Cipressi
In its first stages, the Stadio Olimpico was called the Stadio del Cipressi. It was designed and constructed within the larger project of the ''Foro Mussolini'' (Mussolini Forum), which was renamed ''Foro Italico'' after the war.
Construction work began in 1928, under the direction of Turinese engineer Frisa Angelo and architect Enrico Del Debbio, and was finished, after few variations, in 1932. Were not foreseen the construction of masonry, but the layout of the giant and filled the stands consist of grassy terraces.
In 1933, it was decided to extend the stadium stairs and masonry above ground, in order to increase the capacity (35,000 spectators seated, 55,000 spectators standing, and 65,000 in the case of super-capacity). The project was entrusted to the same Frisa, with architect Luigi Moretti Walter and also engineer Achille Pinotello, and ended in 1937.
The facility housed gymnastic and sporting events, as well as Fascist gatherings, the most famous of which was during the visit of Adolf Hitler on 7 May 1938. For the occasion, construction of a second tier of stairs was started, but the work was interrupted in 1940 due to the outbreak of war.
1953, the Stadio del Centomila
In December 1950, the site was reopened for the completion of the stadium. The project was entrusted to the engineer Carlo Roccatelli, a member of the Superior Council of Public Works. At first, they thought of building a structure more complex than that actually realised, but the scarcity of funds and the environmental characteristics of the area led to a less ambitious version. On the death of Roccatelli in 1951, the direction of the work was entrusted to architect Annibale Vitellozzi. It now reaches a capacity of about 100,000 people (hence the name of Il Stadio del Centomila, which the stadium was called before 1960), and in view of the XVII Olympiad. The building was inaugurated on 17 May 1953 with a football game between Italy and Hungary.
1960, the Stadio Olimpico
During the 1960 Summer Olympics, the stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, and the athletics competitions. The posts were eliminated in the feet, with the result to actual capacity to 65,000 spectators. Following hosted several editions of the Italian Championships in Athletics, the 1975 Summer Universiade (the stadium was the only venue in the Universiade), and the 1987 World Athletics Championships and still hosts the annual meeting of the Golden Gala.
The main feature of the stadium was its surprisingly low elevation from the ground, despite its considerable capacity. The result was achieved thanks to partial ''sottoelevazione'' of the pitch, also exploiting the natural shape of a hollow ground around it. Thanks to these measures, the system was integrated seamlessly with the surrounding environment, providing a very pleasing visual appearance and content. The seats were originally made of wood, later replaced by others in stone pale green. This was not a cover of stairs, with the exception of a small structure, which was added later, that in addition to cover a small part of the ''Tribuna Monte Mario'', which hosted journalists for ''Radiocronaca'' and press rooms. The only criticism in the years the stadium was over-distance curves from the game that seriously the vision of football, due to the presence of the athletics track and the need to place the perimeter of the existing structure.
1990 restructuring and coverage of the stadium
In view of the 1990 World Cup, which was the Olympic main Stadium, the facility was the subject of an extensive enhancement. Because of the work in 1989 of the Capitoline teams Lazio and Roma played their internal competitions at Stadio Flaminio. The work was entrusted to a team of designers, including the original designer Annibale Vitellozzi. From 1987 to 1990, the plan of action was amended several times, with a consequent rise in costs. Ultimately, Olimpico was entirely demolished and rebuilt in reinforced concrete, with the exception of the ''Tribuna Tevere'' expanded with the addition of further steps, the curves were closer to the field of nine meters. All sectors of the stadium were covered with full coverage in tensostructure white. Also installed were backless seats in blue plastic, and two giant screens built in 1987 for the World Athletics Championships were also mounted inside the curve. At the end of the new version of Olympus surpassed 80,000 posts, and so was the 14th stage in the world for number of seats in the stadiums used for football, the 29th among all the stages and the second in Italy, to just behind the San Siro Stadium of Milan. The restructuring works, with the result of an undoubtedly impressive and fascinating, not kept account of the surroundings. The rise of the stairs, as well as coveragestravolsero fully the principles on which the previous stage was designed and constructed.
The Stadio Olimpico was host to five matches in which the Italian National Team took part in, and the final between West Germany and Argentina. West Germany won the final match 1–0.
By the same conformation of 1990, on 22 May 1996, the Stadio Olimpico hosted the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and Ajax, which saw the ''Bianconeri'' prevail in a penalty shoot-out.
2008 restyling of the stadium
In 2007, it was engaged in a vast plan of restyling inside the stadium to conform to UEFA standards, for the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final, which was disputed in Rome. The work was performed and completed in 2008, having included the establishment of standard structures, with improvements in security, the adjustment of dressing rooms and press room, the complete replacement of the seats, installing high definition LED screens, the partial removal of plexiglas fences between spectators and the field, and a reduction of posts, until the current capacity of 72,698. In order to increase the comfort of the audience, a part of the modernisation of the stadium were the increase of the points of rest and adjustment to a toilet. These actions have allowed the ''Stadio Olimpico'' to be classified as UEFA Elite stadium.
Areas and capacity
The stadium has a current capacity of 72,698, distributed as follows:
*''Tribuna Monte Mario'' – 16,555
*''Tribuna Tevere'' – 16,397
*''Distinto Sud Ovest'' – 5,747
*''Distinto Sud Est'' – 5,637
*''Distinto Nord Ovest'' – 5,769
*''Distinto Nord Est'' – 5,597
*''Curva Sud'' – 8,486
*''Curva Nord'' – 8,520
* The 1968 European Championship final match saw Italy win against Yugoslavia 2–0.
* The 1977 European Cup final match saw Liverpool win the trophy against Borussia Mönchengladbach 3–1.
* The 1980 European Championship final match saw Germany win against Belgium 2–1.
* The 1984 European Cup final match saw Liverpool win the trophy after a penalty shootout against native team Roma (regular time ended 1–1).
* The 1990 FIFA World Cup Final match saw West Germany win against Argentina 1–0.
* The 1996 UEFA Champions League Final saw Juventus win the trophy after a penalty shootout against Ajax (regular time ended 1–1).
* The 2009 UEFA Champions League Final saw Barcelona win against Manchester United 2–0.
''# In 1989–90 season both teams played at Stadio Flaminio during the renovations of Stadio Olimpico.
''* Club was in Serie B