Stadio Artemio Franchi is a footballstadium in Florence, Italy. It is currently the home of ACF Fiorentina. The stadium was temporarily noticed as the host of Italy's Six Nations matches from 2012. The old nickname of the stadium was "Comunale." When it was first constructed, it was known as the Stadio Giovanni Berta.
The stadium was officially opened on the 13th of September 1931 with a match between Fiorentina and Admira Wien (1-0), though it took until 1932 for the stadium to be completely finished and currently holds 47,282. The architect is Pier Luigi Nervi (known for the Nervi Hall in the Vatican) and it is one of the most relevant examples of 20th-century architecture in the city.
The stadium is built entirely of reinforced concrete with a 70 meter (230 ft) tower that bears the stadium's flagstaff. The tower is called the "Tower of Marathon". Around the base of the tower, spiral ramps lead from the ground floor to the upper edge of the grandstand.
The stadium was originally called the "Comunale" but was renamed after the former FIGC president, Artemio Franchi, in 1991.
The stadium itself underwent renovations for the 1990 FIFA World Cup which included removing the running track and increasing the seating capacity. At the World Cup, the ground hosted three matches in Group A and Argentina's penalty shootout win over Yugoslavia in the quarter-finals.
Bruce Springsteen performed on June 8, 2003 at the stadium during his The Rising Tour and he returned on June 10, 2012 for the "Wrecking Ball Tour". It rained for the entire duration of the 2012 concert.
On Sunday June 23, 2013, the stadium hosted a Jovanotti concert. Jovanotti is from Cortona, a city relatively close to Florence, and many members of his family were in the audience including his wife, child and parents.
The Italy national football team has played at the stadium, the first occasion being on 7 May 1933 in a 2-0 win over Czechoslovakia. The national team played only one game there between 1982 and 2006; a 2-0 friendly win against Mexico on 20 January 1993. On 1 March 2006, they played a friendly against Germany and won 4-1. The stadium hosted two matches in Euro 2012 qualifying: a 5-0 win over the Faroe Islands, and a 1-0 win over Slovenia on 6 September 2011 which was its most recent international hosting. During the match with Faroe Islands, Fabio Quagliarella (a member of Juventus at the time) scored a goal. Because Fiorentina fans have such a strong rivalry with Juventus, the fans at the stadium booed Quagliarella. It was strange to see Italians boo an Italian player after he scored a goal for Italy.
On October 27, 1954, a reserve game between Fiorentina and nearby rivals Pistoiese was under way at the Stadio Artemio Franchi when a group of UFOs traveling at high speed abruptly stopped over the stadium. The stadium became silent as the crowd of around 10,000 spectators witnessed the event and described the UFOs as cigar shaped. It was soon determined that the most likely explanation was that the silk of mass migrating spiders had agglomerated high in the atmosphere.