Karalis Arena

Key facts

Club: Cagliari Calcio | Capacity: 23,200 seats | Scheduled opening: n/a | Status: delayed


The Karalis Arena, also referred to as Stadio Elmas, is the planned new home of Cagliari Calcio. The project is currently delayed after initial plans seem to have fallen through.

Cagliari Calcio has been looking to build a new stadium for the last five years as its dilapidated stadium Stadio Sant’Elia, once hosting several matches at the 1990 World Cup, hardly meets safety requirements and does not offer sufficient modern facilities for the current age.

Initial plans focused on a stadium with a capacity of around 25,000, but after Italy expressed its interest in hosting the Euro 2016 tournament these plans were revised upwards to a larger capacity so that the city could qualify as a playing venue. However, after the tournament was awarded to France plans were again adjusted and the club has now settled on a stadium with 23,200 seats and an estimated cost of €45 million.

Definite plans and renders were presented in the summer of 2011, and a site was selected close to Cagliari’s Elmas Airport in the north of the city. However, the plans were heavily opposed by the local aviation authority and a series of legal battles seem to have derailed the project.

In May 2012 Cagliario announced to move out of Stadio Sant’Elia and build a temporary makeshift stadium in a nearby town. The club will play at this stadium for at least three years and will in the meantime look for a solution for the Karalis Arena, which likely means looking for a new location.