The Olympic Stadium in Rome

The House of Italian Sports

From the Stadio dei Centomila to the Golden Gala arena. This is the athletics history at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. In this stadium the echo of the clashes of the 17th edition of the 1960 Olympic Games, to which it owes its name, still resounds. The Rome’s Olympic Stadium played host to the Opening and the Closing Ceremony and the unforgettable athletics competitions.  

The project of the  stadium was entrusted to Professor Carlo Roccatelli and Architect Annibale Vitellozzi. In its first version it was named Stadio dei Centomila, as the stadium had a capacity of 100000 spectators when it was inaugurated on 17th May 1953. The stadium was constructed on the site where the big “Stadio dei Cipressi” was located. This facility was built with the purpose of that time to host the 1944 Olympic Games, which were awarded to London but took place in 1948 because of the Second World War.

Located in the Northern part of Rome, on the foot of the Monte Mario’s hill, the Stadio dei Centomila” saw its capacity reduced to 65000 seats shortly before the 1960 Olympic Games. After the Olympic Games, the Olympic Stadium opened its doors to athletics during the 1974 European Championships. This edition of the Continental Championships has remained in sport history for the thrilling sprint clash between Pietro Mennea and Soviet Valery Borzov. In 1980 the Golden Gala was held for the first time one year before the World Cup. It was at the World Cup that the ninth lane of the athletics track was added, as wanted by Primo Nebiolo, to enable Italy’s host country team taking part in this event. This addition contributed to increase the success of the event thanks to the support of the local crowd for the Italian team. Six years later in 1987 Rome hosted the second edition of a successful World Championship which increasingly boosted the link between Rome and athletics.

In 1990 the Olympic Stadium played host to the Football World Cup. The facility underwent a complete reconstructuring in view of this important event. The curves and the coverage were reconstructed. Moreover the Tribunes Monte Mario and Tevere were enlarged and reconstructed. The capacity was increased to 80000 seats. In 2007 the stadium underwent a further restyling to host the Football Champions’ League in 2009. The work, which was performed one year before the Final, was aimed at the establishment of standards, with improvement in safety, the adjustment of dressing rooms and the press room, the complete replacement of seats (with the reduction in the number of seats in favour of comfort), the installation of new giant screens and the partial removal of plexiglass fences between the seats and the field. A part of modernisation included the increase in the number of refreshment rooms and the adjustment of toilet services. Today the Stadium, which is owned by the CONI Servizi S.p.A., also hosts a rich programme of music concerts.

Here follows the total capacity (number of spectators) of the Olympic Stadium:

Sector/Capacity

Tribuna Montemario 14.266
Tribuna Tevere 16.351
Curva Nord 8.567
Distinto Est 5.810
Distinto Ovest 5.636
Curva Sud 8.537
Distinto Est 5.765
Distinto Ovest 5.702
TOTAL: 70.634