Napoli furious as Stadio San Paolo pitch is left 'devastated' by concert

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Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is upset with the condition of the Stadio San Paolo playing surface after a concert was held at the stadium last week.

A crowd of 25,000 attended a show by singer-songwriter Gigi D’Alessio, but the impact of the event on the Naples playing surface has infuriated the club.

“I have received pictures of the pitch after the concert and it’s unbelievable — it looks like it has been devastated by a fire,” De Laurentiis said.

But Napoli — who finished second in Serie A last season — will be aided by advice from pitch specialist Giovanni Castelli as they attempt to allow the grass to recover in time for the new Italian domestic season.

“The images I have seen are so ugly that I am flying out to see what we can suggest to those responsible for this,” Castelli said. “If you break something you have to pay for it — from the pictures I can see holes.

“It’s not just the grass which is affected, which could be solved with a bit of money in a relatively short space of time.

“But even with that, if we re-turf it the pitch will look okay from the outside, but it will still need time to function at its best. We will probably need to start from scratch.

“Concerts in stadia can be held, but only if there is a bit of common sense. At San Siro they are planning eight concerts, but the concert organisers redo it at the end, at their own expense. This is not the case here.

“This pitch was covered for 10 days and it’s been a disaster. It is extremely unlikely that Napoli will have a workable pitch come the start of the season.”

The opening day of the 2016-17 Serie A season is scheduled for Aug. 20.

The original version of this story which was published by ESPN can be viewed here.

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