Brescia - The Stadio Mario Rigamonti - Capacity: 27,547 All Seater
About the Mario Rigamonti Stadio The Mario Rigamonti stadium is one of the most basic in the top leagues in Italy. It has two open terraced areas, although these do have bucket seats. The hardcore Brescia fans are located in the north curva, and welcome the team onto the pitch with an amazing stream of toilet paper (see above). The stadium is not exactly known for its warm barmy afternoons either, sitting close to the surrounding hills of Lombardy. Views are ok from the main Tribune, although the presence of a running track and a perimeter fence does mean you feel quite along way from the action.
The stadium is named after the former Brescia player who was killed in the infamous Superga plane crash that wiped out the whole of the Torino team in 1949. However, plans are underway for a new stadium, although this has now been talked about for nearly a decade. The new stadium will be built at Castenedolo, which is 10 kilometres south of the town.
Who plays there? Brescio Calcio have had a relatively quite life in Italian football. However, all of that changed in 2000 when the club sensationally announced the signing of Italian legend Roberto Baggio. The Baggio effect was immediate as the club topped their best ever performance in Serie A with a 7th place finish, and a place in the Intertoto Cup where they reached the final, losing to Paris Saint-Germain. With Baggio pulling the strings in midfield, the club stayed in the top flight for a record four successive seasons.
To underline the importance of the “Divine Ponytail”, Brescia were relegated back to Serie A in the season after he retired, and have struggled ever since. It actually took nearly 70 years for the club to reach the top division for the first time in 1982, although since then they have spent most of the time in Serie B and even Serie C.
How to get there The stadium is really in the middle of nowhere. It is around 8km north of the city centre and public transport is not exactly frequent. Bus C or D runs from outside the railway station to the stadium on match days.
For a more detailed view on where the stadium is in the city go to Footiemap.com.
Getting a ticket Please note that ticket arrangements in Italy are currently some of the most stringent in Europe and buying a ticket on the day of the game is now very hard indeed. Whenever and wherever you purchase a ticket in advance you will have to prove your identity so carry around your passport. Tickets for Brescia games can be purchased in advance from Bar Aquarium in Piazza Loggia, or any branch of Banco di Brescia. Ticket prices range from €80 in the (warm and covered) Tirbuna Centrale Numerata to €10 in the Curva. A good bet for the neutral is a place in the Tribuna Parterre which is €15. Children under the age of 14 are entitled to free admission to most parts of the stadium.
Getting around The centre of Brescia is compact and most people actually walk from point to point without using buses. The city is actually building an underground network, which when complete will make it one of the smallest cities in the world with its own network. If you do need to use buses, then fares are €1 and can be purchased onboard, from the ticket machines beside the bus stops or from local shops with the T-symbol outside.
Located 30 miles to the west of Verona is the small regional airport of Gabriele D’Annunzio. Whilst it is significantly closer to Brescia (only 4 miles to the south), Ryanair prefer to call it Verona on their route map. Buses run direct to Verona from the airport, taking 45 minutes and costing €16. Alternatively, you can get a local bus to Brescia train station and then hop on a regular train to Verona Porto Nouva Station.
British Airways are currently the only airline to fly direct to Verona’s Catullo airport, located six miles south west of the city. Airport buss leave every 20 minutes from outside the arrivals doors, costing €4, taking 15 minutes to reach the Stazione Porta Nuova. A taxi to the Arena would costs around €20.