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The San Paolo is costing Napoli dearly

The run-down and outdated state of the Stadio San Paolo is costing Napoli even more dearly than most people realize.

Giuseppe Bellini

The Stadio San Paolo is the long time, venerable home of Napoli. It's got a lot of history, and Napoli have won a lot of matches, titles, and cups there.

It's also, unfortunately, become old, outdated, and a sinkhole for money. We didn't know before just how much of one it was, though, but that's starting to come to light. Thanks to this new report, we're starting to get a good idea of just how much Napoli's home is costing them every season.

The main cost is an obvious one: because the city of Naples the stadium, Napoli pay roughly €1 million in rent to the city to use the stadium. A lot of people tend to think that the cost stops there, but it doesn't; Napoli are also responsible for the payment of staff, pitch maintenance, and some stadium maintenance. Those costs add up in a hurry, especially those for the large stadium staff.

Then there's a sort of hidden, indirect cost that often goes unconsidered, an "opportunity cost" if you will. What that means is that Napoli is missing out on money in the form of revenues lost thanks to how sub-standard the stadium is compared to more modern grounds. A very limited availability of food, merchandise, luxury seating, and parking costs the club hundreds of thousands of euros of potential income every match.

This makes renovating the stadium to modern standards an even more vital task than previously believed. If that report is accurate, Napoli are losing some €15 million per year between actual costs and lost revenues. Aurelio De Laurentiis is understandably eager to rectify the situation and get the stadium up to snuff, but it's going to be a long, costly process. Fortunately, the process is already well in to the planning stages after an agreement was reached earlier this year, but it will take time to finish. It's in everyone's best interest to get it done and have Napoli be able to better compete financially with the bigger clubs around Europe.