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Official Review by Stefano Romagnoli, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Mapei Stadium – Cittŕ del Tricolore was the first Italian facility owned by a football team. It was built in about eight months, between August 1994 and April 1995, thanks to the commitment of Associazione Calcio Reggiana, a group of companies and banks that purchased hospitality packages, and the fans of the team of Reggio Emilia who signed multi-year subscriptions.
The first football match hosted at the facility was Reggiana vs. Juventus (1-2) on the 27th match day of the 1994/1995 Serie A season. Sixteen years later, in September 2011, Juventus Football Club was the second football club in Italy to own its stadium.
On July, 13 2005 the Associazione Calcio Reggiana was declared bankrupt by the court of Reggio Emilia and the system was entrusted to a bankruptcy trustee.
On March 11, 2012 on the occasion of the derby Reggiana vs. Carpi for the Lega Pro, the third level of Italian football, the stadium was renamed Stadio di Reggio Emilia Cittŕ del Tricolore. The name was chosen by the city of Reggio Emilia and by the Associazione Calcio Reggiana 1919.
Since December 5, 2013 the facility has been owned by Mapei, a company working in the production of chemical materials for construction and commercial sponsor of Unione Sportiva Sassuolo Calcio, which changed its name to the current Mapei Stadium – Cittŕ del Tricolore.
The stadium hosts home games of Associazione Calcio Reggiana 1919 (which in the past has also played at the stadium Mirabello) and since the 2013-2014 season the stadium has also hosted Unione Sportiva Sassuolo Calcio
The Carpi Football Club 1909 played the 2011/2012 season at Reggio Emilia because its stadium, the Sandro Cabassi, was being renovated.
On November, 15 1995, the Mapei Stadium – Cittŕ del Tricolore hosted Italy vs. Lithuania 4-0, a qualifying match for the UEFA EURO 1996.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Around the stadium there are many food peddlers. A piadina (flatbread sandwich) with ham and mozzarella and a bottle of mineral water cost just 5 euros.
Close to the stadium there is a shopping center where there is a Mexican restaurant, a Neapolitan pizzeria, a restaurant with traditional dishes from Emilia and much more.
Also there are the dining options inside the stadium. In short, there are alternatives in menu and prices.
The stadium, which is reminiscent of British stadiums, is divided into seven different areas. Tribuna Autoritŕ (474 seats), 32 Palchi (256 seats), Tribuna Stampa (108 seats), Tribuna (5,800 seats) and Distinti area (5,946 seats) are all under cover and occupy the two long sides of the football field.
Visibility is excellent from any seat. Large openings allow easy entry/exit from the various sections. There are no barriers to separate the spectators from the playing field, but only the balustrades. Gradinata Sud (5,000 seats for local fans) and Gradinata Nord (4,000 seats for visiting supporters) are uncovered and separated from the two tribunes. They also have some concrete steps without plastic seats.
There is a giant screen in the corner between the Gradinata Nord and the Distinti area. On either side of the main grandstand there are coats of arms of Unione Sportiva Sassuolo Calcio and of Associazione Calcio Reggiana 1919.
The facility is built on the northern outskirts of the city of Reggio Emilia.
In the area there is a shopping center with many shops, restaurants, and cinemas. Also behind the main grandstand is a water park with swimming pools.
Supporters are known as the grenade, so named for the color of the team wear of Associazione Calcio Reggiana 1919, or of the Regia, from the team's nickname of Reggio Emilia. The supporters follow home matches from the Curva Sud of Mapei Stadium - Cittŕ del Tricolore.
The main rivalry are those with the fans of Parma, Piacenza, Cesena, Modena and Spezia. Good relationships exist with the supporters of Genoa, Vicenza, Carrarese and Cremonese.
Reaching Mapei Stadium - Cittŕ del Tricolore is really simple. The facility is located about three kilometers from the Reggio Emilia exit of the A1 and from the Railway Station of Reggio Emilia, while just over one kilometer separates the Mapei Stadium from the train station. A high speed train station is only about three kilometers from Mapei Stadium.
There are about a dozen parking areas available for fans who choose to drive.
Home matches for Pro League championship matches in 2014/2015 cost 20,50 euro (including presale) in the Tribuna, 9 euro in Curva Sud, and 15 euro in Curva Nord (including presale).
Buying tickets directly the day of the match (no presale) prices change, and there are discounts for women and fans under 18 years.
Disabled people can access the stadium with accompanying paying two tickets to the price 0.50 euro each. To use handicapped tickets it's necessary to contact the Associazione Calcio Reggiana 1919 by e-mail or phone.
Emilia is one of the best cities in Italy with regard to food and wine. In Sassuolo in particular you should try Sassolino, an anise liqueur, and Sassolina, a pork sausage. If you go to Reggio Emilia to see Unione Sportiva Sassuolo Calcio play, then be sure to taste the Parmigiano Reggiano DOP (cheese) and tigelle, a bread typical of this part of Italy. In the city there are several civil and religious monuments (including the new high speed train station designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava).
Sassuolo and Reggio Emilia are close to Maranello, the town which is the headquarters of Ferrari.
In nearby Modena there is also the house museum of the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
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