Rugby

Sales soar for Italy v England

2012-01-12 18:33
Giancarlo Dondi (File)

Rome - With a month to go before Italy's first home Six Nations game of the season, sales for the match against England at the Stadio Olimpico have already topped 50 000.

Italian Rugby Federation president Giancarlo Dondi announced the figure - 52 000 - during a press conference on Thursday, adding that only 6 500 of those have been bought by away fans.

It is already close to double the number of spectators Italy used to get at the cosy Stadio Fliminio just a short walk away.

"I got goosebumps when I saw a great stadium like this with rugby posts," said Dondi.

"It's a reward, a step forward to show the great growth of our sport in Italy.

"Now I hope we can fill this structure which we hope can become our home in the future.

"We hope to continue in the Olimpico. If we manage to fill it then why should we go backwards?"

Italy's home for recent years has been the Stadio Flaminio which was due to undergo a major upgrade to increase it's capacity to 42 000 but that hasn't happened.

And Dondi blames bureaucracy for those plans falling through.

"As for the Flaminio, the federation has always wanted it's own home and to commit itself economically to increase it.

"But then we came across bureaucratic problems and now if you pass by that area you can see that it's been completely abandoned."

Dondi said he hopes to keep Rome as the home of the Italy rugby team, even though both Celtic League franchises are based in the traditional power base of the north.

Italy have always played in Rome, at the Flaminio, since their entry into the Six Nations in 2000 while November Test matches have been played mostly in the north.

Naples now wants to get in the on the act, though, and have asked to host the All Blacks at the San Paolo Stadium where Napoli play their home matches.

Two years ago Italy hosted New Zealand at Milan's San Siro stadium and were rewarded with an 80 000 sell-out crowd.

The San Paolo can seat 60 000 people and is the third biggest stadium in Italy after the San Siro and Stadio Olimpico.

However, Dondi played down the southern city's hopes.

"Naples has asked to host a Test match against the All Blacks, however we're evaluating it because we can't leave our debut at the San Paolo to chance.

"Maybe we'll start with a Test match and then based on how many spectators we get we'll see."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

WP, Lions back in TV favour

2014-10-02 15:13

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

7 tips for the ultimate family camping trip

Taking the kids on a camping trip can be one of the most memorable holidays they will ever have!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

BASE jump off the world’s tallest building!
Stand up paddler rides over shark!
Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Did you see enough in South Africa's 28-10 win over Australia to suggest they could upset the All Blacks at Ellis Park?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.