The stadium was originally built in 1923 and is named after the club’s first president. It has largely been unchanged since the end of the Second World War, with the addition of the Curva Sud in the early 1990’s the only real development. The stadium is unusual for an Italian ground. It has four stands close to the pitch with no running track. The Tribuna and Distinti stands are covered, with the Curvas being uncovered terraces. Despite its modest capacity, Parma found it difficult to fill the stadium with an average attendance of just 14,000 last season. Even the visit of Juventus failed to spark the normal interest in the game with 7,000 seats left unsold.
Who Plays There? A.C Parma have had a very turbulent few years which has seen them almost rising to the lofty heights both on a national stage, as well as internationally before being a hair’s breadth of going bankrupt in 2004 after the collapse of their major financial backer Paramalat.
The club were originally formed in 1913 as Verdi FC in honour of one of the city’s most famous sons, although they soon changed their name back to FC Parma in early 1914. Their early years were spent yo-yoing between Serie B and Serie C before they managed to gain some stability in the 1950’s when they managed to retain their place in Serie B for the whoe of the decade, and even managed their first major honour when they won the “Coppa Delle Alpi in 1961.
After a brief spell in Serie D in the late 1960’s the club rose again and managed to get promotion back to Serie B in the late 1970’s under the guidance of Cesare Maldini. As a pressures for things to come, the team developed a number of excellent young players such as Carlo Ancelotti, who today manages AC Milan. However, the team could not find the consistency that would enable them to stay in Serie B until 1989 when the team at last won promotion to the hallowed land of Serie A. A opening day defeat at home to Juventus looked ominous for the blue and yellows, but the teamed rallied after Christmas and ended the season in 6th place, and therefore qualifying for the UEFA Cup for the first time.
Unfortunately the team’s European adventure ended in Sofia when the team lost on away goals to CSKA in the first round, but it had given the team a taste for international football. At the end of the 1991/92 season, the team finished 6th and overcame Juventus in May to win the Italian Cup. Their entry into the European Cup Winners Cup gave them another crack at some of Europe’s finest teams. Early round wins against Ujpest of Hungary, Boavista and Sparta Prague set up a semi final clash with Athletico Madrid. An excellent 2-1 win in Madrid propelled the team into the final against where they met Antwerp of Belgium. The final was played at Wembley stadium in front of 40,000 fans who saw the Italians win with ease 3-1. The last few years have been a real struggle against off field activities, and even flirting with relegation on a number of occasions. However, due to the relegation of the three clubs in 2006, AC Parma qualified for the UEFA Cup despite their mid table finish. The current squad includes Maurizio Ciaramitaro who was recently signed from Cesena and Daniele Dessena, the current darling of the Parma tifosi, although over ten years of tradition were broken during the close season when Paolo Cannavaro left the club to join Serie B new boys Napoli, exactly four years after his elder brother Fabio left to join Juventus.
Other departures at the end of the season included Australian international Marco Bresciano to Palermo, Bernardo Corradi to Manchester City and Daniele Bonera to AC Milan. One final point to make is that less than three seasons ago the team teetered on bankruptcy due to the implosion of their major backer Parmalat. At the time the club were supported heavily by the company and despite major sales of key players such as Hernan Crespo to Lazio in 2001 for over £35m, the sudden withdrawal of the funding meant the club were plunged into the red, all the while reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup.
How to get to the Stadio Ennio Tardini The stadium is located to the south of the city centre. On a nice day walking is definitely an option – allow yourself around 20 minutes to walk from the centre of the city. The best way to approach the walk is to go down to Palazzo del Commune then turn left onto Strada della Republicca. Follow this road until you reach the Viale San Michelle and then turn right and follow to the roundabout. The stadium will then be visible across the main road. If you want to use public transport then bus number 8 and 9 runs regularly from the railway station to the stadium in around 15 minutes on a regular basis.
For a more detailed view on who plays where in Italy, go to Footiemap.com to look at their excellent Italian football website.
How to get a ticket for the Stadio Ennio Tardini Tickets for Parma matches are available to buy via the websites http://www.ticketone.it and http://www.ticketweb.it. You are then able to pick your tickets up from the ticket offices to the north of the stadium. Tickets range in price from €20 to €100. You may also find a number of season ticket holders standing around outside who have a spare ticket to sell.
In the 2005-2006 season new laws have been introduced to help fight violence in football stadiums. Tickets are supposed to be issued to named individuals, upon provision of address and ID. The application of these laws is causing a headache for everyone, and as we write most clubs still haven't organised their online ticket sales or published guidelines for purchase. Some interpretations mean you need to buy your ticket in advance (with no sales on matchday at the stadium) upon presentation of ID, address and maybe even an Italian tax code. This seems to us to discriminate more against the innocent (like the overseas fans who turn out in force for Italian fixtures), than the guilty. Overseas fans buying tickets online will have been used to providing their details anyway, but now it is likely that full details are required for each member of your party. If you can't buy tickets online before your trip, purchase them as soon as you arrive in Italy. Hotels can sometimes be good sources of advice. Make sure everyone in your group takes their ID (passports are best) with them when you collect your ticket, and to the football ground.
Around the Stadio Ennio Tardini The stadium is located in the south east corner of the city centre, close to the historic Cittadella. The area around the stadium is full of smart middle class houses, and to the south is the large Parco Ferrari.
Parma airport is located 3km to the west of the centre of the city. It is close to the A1 motorway that runs from Milan to Rimini. A taxi from the airport to the main station will cost around €10. At the moment the only routes the airport has it to Rome and London Stansted with Ryanair opening up their route in early 2006.