On the occasion of the 110 years of the BFC 1909, we want to dedicate a small space to the house of our team and all its fans.
Great shows need big theaters. The show that the Bologna company gave to spectators fans was such that it deserved a system like the Littoriale. This was the original name of Renato Dall’Ara: the first stadium in Italy to be built by public initiative, strongly wanted by Leandro Arpinati, at the time a leading Fascist hierarch, podestà of Bologna and undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior. To find the necessary funds there was a real collection between citizens and institutions, although probably more than a spontaneous donation it was a forced payment in the coffers of the project.
Arpinati created other celebratory building initiatives in Bologna, including the Arcoveggio racecourse, but the Littoriale was the first work for importance and innovation. The work was very rapid: in June 1925 King Vittorio Emanuele III laid the first stone personally, and on May 29, 1927 there was the inauguration with the Italia Spagna match won by the Azzurri for 2-0 in front of 55,000 spectators. Before the official opening, in 1926, Mussolini presented himself riding a white horse, receiving as a tribute an equestrian statue that he campaigned above the sector distinguished before being knocked down and removed in 1943.
The complex of the Littoriale was not a simple stadium for soccer games as they already existed in Italy: following the Fascist philosophy of the agonistic primacy and the care of the body as a vehicle for the affirmation of the whole Italian society was a real citadel of sport, with indoor pools, tennis courts and athletics track. It was among the largest and most complete in Europe, and was distinguished by the use of concrete and avant-garde architectural solutions that still today show great personality. The project was entrusted to the Vignola architect Umberto Costanzini (1897-1968), director of the technical office of the Casa del Fascio, who worked together with the architect from Piacenza Giulio Ulisse Arata (1881-1962) to whom we owe the Tower of Marathon.
In addition to the sporting record, the complex was also widely used for exhibitions, festivals and events, and – of course – for football. For this new theater, Bologna Calcio left the Sterlino facility to perform on a stage of great impact and international prestige, precisely during the period of the great victories of the rossoblùs. In this stadium were also hosted the matches of the European cups that Bologna – first team in Italy – won starting with the Central European Cup of 1932. Here won the series of championships that marked the end of the 20s and the 30s and that made Bologna the famous squadron that … shaking the world does …
The stadium was also included among those who hosted the 1934 World Cup, won by Italy coached by Vittorio Pozzo and who also had Schiavio and Monzeglio from Bologna. After the Second World War the stadium was named Comunale, to then be dedicated in 1983 to Renato Dall’Ara, president of Bologna for thirty years starting in 1934.
Even today, this is the theater of BFC1909: the new owner of the Club, Joey Saputo, has had work done to adapt and embellish, ranging from the hospitality area to the press room to the locker room up to the sessions and the lawn that covered the ancient track of athletics. All this while waiting for the adaptation and modernization works of Renato Dall’Ara to start, which will make it one of the most modern stadiums in Europe, linking the glories of the past with the vision of contemporary architecture with a direct thread.