And so the Curva Sud of Atalanta Bergamo’s Gewiss Stadium is now no more. The last game held with its open terraces watching over proceedings was evidence enough of why.
During the Serie A fixture between Atalanta and AC Monza it rained; in fact it rained so hard and in such a prolonged manner that most of those standing on the Curva Sud probably wished the demolition trucks were moving in that night.
The rolling hills which provide a stunning backdrop for those on the Sud disappeared from view as the rain fell. The smoke from pyro displays mixed with the black and blue flags that were flapped provided some sense of consolation. Meanwhile, countless flares were set off almost as a celebratory goodbye or for some fans a thank you for all the great nights of the past.
The Gewiss Stadium is now owned by Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio. Back in 2017 a commission of the commune municipality were called to evaluate offers presented by potential buyers and they made an official annoucement on the morning of Wednesday 10th May 2017.
One of the ‘other’ offers came from UC AlbinoLeffe – a club from the wider Bergamo area who from 2004 until 2019 played its fixtures at the stadium of Atalanta. It was dismissed and Atalanta were awarded ownership.
Retail entrepreneur Percassi’s company put €8.6 million euros on the plate for the local administration just for the purchase. Added to this were the promise of investments that would allow the complete redevelopment of stadium and the surrounding area.
In total €35 million euros are due to be spent to bring the Gewiss up to the standard that will allow Champions League games to be held at the stadium.
Prior to the procurement of the stadium the facilities at Atalanta had been considered outdated for some time and amongst the worst in Serie A. Being forced to play its UEFA ties away in Milan (San Siro) and in Reggio-Emilia (Mapei) had struck the loyal fans hard even if matches at the San Siro allowed many more fans to watch than would ever have been allowed in Bergamo.
Following a sponsorship agreement with electronics company Gewiss lasting at least until 2025, the stadium was renamed the Gewiss Stadium on 1 July 2019. Just a few months later in October the renovated Curva Nord Pisani was inaugurated for Atalanta’s home match against Lecce.
Following this both side stands including the Rinascimento Tribune (Renaissance Tribune) underwent modernisation. New retail outlets have appeared near and adjoining the Curva Nord Pisani (dedicated to Federico Pisani) and the Curva Sud Morosini (dedicated to Piermario Morosini) had temporary seats installed on the open concrete.
And now it’s the final phase of redevelopment.
Just weeks after Atalanta secured Europa League Group Stage football for season 2023-24 the demolition trucks went in and tore down the Curva Sud and the scoreboard. Outside, gone has went the floodlight pylons; the ticket booth and the market which once met outside every Saturday will now surely need to find a new home.
The Curva Sud work once complete will increase the stadium’s capacity to about 25,000. As well as this the construction of a new underground parking lot – owned by the city – and other improvements to the stadium’s surroundings will see more amenities for Bergamo fans.
No more standing soaked on the Curva Sud looking at the hills in the background. Instead the aim is a live entertainment venue unmatched in this part of Italy.