Stadio Olimpico of Rome is the most important sports structure in the capitale of Italy. The stadium is the home ground of the two major football clubs in Rome, Societa Sportiva Lazio and Associazione Sportiva Roma.
With a current capacity of 72,698 places, Stadio Olimpico is the second largest football arena in Italy, surpassed only by Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, located in Milan, with a capacity of 80,000. Designed by architect Enrico Del Debbio, the stadium was built during 1901 and 1910, but was inaugurated for the purpose of sport in 1930. During the years the stadium has undergone three major restructurings and a complete restyling which today make it one of the most modern stadiums in Europe. The preparations for the 1960 Summer Olympics led to the increasing of the stadium’s capcity to 65,000 spectators, but the most extensive enhancement of the arena took place with the occasion of the 1990 FIFA World Cup, which Italy hosted. Due to the work , local clubs Lazio and Roma played their internal competitions at Stadio Flaminio for several months. The two giant screens inside the stadium were also mounted during this period. The last major restyling proccess took place before the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final which was played on Stadio Olimpico and included improvements in security, the adjustment of dressing rooms and press room and the complete replacement of a large part of the seats.
Traditionally, the stadiums is the venue of the Italian Cup final. Two UEFA Champions League finals were played on the stadium in Rome, in 1996 (won by Juventus, which defeated Ajax after a penalty shootout) and 2009 (Barcelona – Manchester United 2–0.) In addition to this it is often used by the Italian national footbal team for some the most important home games. At the 1990 FIFA World Cup the Italian National Team played five matches on Stadio Olimpico, and the arena also hosted the final, which was played between West Germany and Argentina.
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