|Owner||Municipality of Cagliari|
|Renovated||1989, 2003, 2013|
Stadio Comunale Sant'Elia is a football stadium in Cagliari, Italy. It is best known for having been the home of Cagliari Calcio. The stadium will have a capacity of 11,650 after renovation. It hosted three matches in the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
The stadium could accommodate up to about 60,000 spectators (the record attendance being approximately 70,000, was recorded against Saint Etienne). The stadium subsequently underwent major changes and restructuring for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The maximum capacity of Sant'Elia was reduced to 39,905 spectators.
The Sant'Elia was also used for sporting events outside football such as the Terra Sarda athletics meet.
Before the 2002–03 season, also due to the reduced number of fans following the poor form of the team, long reduced to yo-yoing between Serie A and B, the stadium was restructured again. Over the athletics track, a new stand was built, behind the goals so as to reduce the distance between the terrace and the playing field, with the central terraces remaining intact. The new format of the stadium, which almost halved its maximum capacity to 23,486 seats, came under harsh criticism.
Cagliari Calcio president Massimo Cellino has plans to build a new stadium for the football team to play in, however the council and mayor Emilio Floris refused to give consent for the project to go ahead, despite the fact that Cellino was willing to finance the new stadium himself.
However plans were drawn up, and the draft revealed in September 2007, with Cellino and Cagliari Calcio meeting all expenses. The project provides a stadium with 25,000 seats. The plan declares that construction will commence in August 2009, and is expected to be completed a year later. But late in 2009, Cagliari Calcio proposed a revamped plan for the Karalis Arena, in order to be added to the list of the Euro 2016 candidature. The new stadium will be able to accommodate about 30,000 spectators and will have new Skybox, restaurants and café.
Due to disagreements with the new local administration headed by mayor Massimo Zedda and growing safety concerns regarding the venue, Cagliari left Stadio Sant'Elia in the final weeks of the 2011–12 Serie A season, playing the remaining few home games at Stadio Nereo Rocco, Trieste. For the 2012–13 Serie A season, Cagliari played its home games outside its home city, at Stadio Comunale Is Arenas in Quartu Sant'Elena, thus ultimately putting an end to its long-standing association with Stadio Sant'Elia.
On August 1, 2014, after a deal with the local council, new Cagliari President Tommaso Giulini announced that Stadio Sant’Elia would be expanded to hold at least 11,650 fans for the 2014-15 Serie A season. The goal is to reach a capacity of 16,000 (or even 18,000) by December 21, 2014 (home match against Juventus).
1990 FIFA World Cup
The stadium was one of the venues of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Although it was denied by local and FIFA organisers, it was widely rumoured that the stadium had been chosen for all of England's group matches as a way to control their reputation at the time for hooliganism. The following matches were held at the ground:
|Date||Team No. 1||Res.||Team No. 2||Round|
|11 June 1990||England||1–1||Republic of Ireland||Group F|
|16 June 1990||England||0–0||Netherlands||Group F|
|21 June 1990||England||1–0||Egypt||Group F|
- L'Uefa approva la Karalis Arena L'impianto avrà 33mila posti – Cronache dalla Sardegna – L'Unione Sarda
- "Sant'Elia addio, 'Is Arenas' è realtà Ficcadenti in bilico, chi in panchina?" [Sant'Elia goodbye, Is Arenas is reality. Ficcadenti in danger, who's going to be the next coach?] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- "Sant'Elia, patto di ferro tra Giulini e Zedda "Nel 2020 stadio nuovo con negozi e museo" - Cronache dalla Sardegna" (in Italian). Sarda News. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- FIFA World Cup 1990 – Group F – Historical Football Kits