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The Friuli Stadium: A football masterpiece between history and passion

Stadio friuli dacia arena udinese, friuli stadium

The Friuli Stadium, also known as the Bluenergy Stadium, stands as an icon of sports and entertainment in the city of Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Inaugurated in 1976 and undergoing various renovation projects, the stadium has undergone significant transformation over the years, becoming a modern sports and multifunctional facility.

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A Rich History of Sports Events and Multifunctionality

The journey of the Friuli Stadium began in 1976 with its inauguration during a Serie C match between Udinese and Seregno. Originally known as the Stadio dei Rizzi, it got its final name from the 1976 Friuli earthquake, an event that influenced the decision to name the stadium in tribute to the victims.

stadio friuli originale

Before becoming the home of Udinese Calcio, the stadium hosted diverse sports events, including rugby matches and international rugby competitions. Over the years, the stadium has also hosted concerts and cultural events, contributing to its multifunctional identity.

Ownership and Evolving Commercial Names

In 2013, Udinese acquired ownership of the stadium, making it the second club in Italy to have its own facility after Juventus Stadium in Turin. Since then, the stadium has gone through several phases of commercial renaming.

From 2016 to 2023, the stadium was known as Dacia Arena, thanks to a naming agreement with the automotive company. Subsequently, in 2023, the company Bluenergy acquired the commercial naming rights, giving the stadium the name Bluenergy Stadium. However, it’s important to note that sponsored names are valid only for Udinese-related events, while the historical denomination is maintained for other occasions.

Architectural Features and Technological Innovations

The Friuli Stadium was designed with attention to the surrounding environment, drawing inspiration from the Olympiastadion in Munich and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. Its terraced structure contributed to reducing environmental impact.


The floodlight towers, designed by Luciano Del Zotto, became a distinctive element of the stadium. Standing at 59.20 meters and colored in red and white, they ensure the visibility of the facility, minimizing the risk of air collisions.

A notable technological innovation is the introduction of a hybrid (natural-synthetic) playing field patented as SISGrass since 2018. This type of pitch enhances playing conditions and the ground’s resistance to weather conditions.

Friuli Stadium’s Restyling

The Friuli Stadium was originally designed as a multifunctional and multisport facility. Under the covered stand, in addition to the playing field, there were offices, rooms, and gyms. Over the years, Udinese has acquired exclusive use of these facilities, continually improving and adapting the stadium to the club’s needs.

dacia arena udinese

Among the significant additions, the use of the Cosmo jumbotron in the 1980s is noteworthy, one of the largest in-stadium displays in the world at that time. Although deactivated in the 1990s, it was replaced by a new state-of-the-art screen in 2010, inaugurated during a match against Juventus.

Third-Millennium Restructuring

At the beginning of the Third Millennium, renovation projects were proposed for the Friuli Stadium, linked to Italy’s bids for the 2012 and 2016 UEFA European Championships. However, after the 2016 European Championships were awarded to France, Udinese’s owner, Giampaolo Pozzo, personally funded the stadium’s redevelopment.

The intervention, completed in 2016, resulted in a reduced capacity stadium, with increased attention to fan comfort and safety needs. The opening of the new stadium was accompanied by a solemn ceremony involving fans and local authorities.

The Friuli Stadium, now known as the Bluenergy Stadium, not only serves as the home of Udinese Calcio but also stands as a significant multifunctional structure in the social and economic fabric of Udine and the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. Its history, marked by sporting successes, international events, and continuous improvements, makes it a distinctive and meaningful element in the Italian football landscape.

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