Stadio XXV Aprile (Zebra)



Stadio XXV Aprile

Address : TBC

Club Website

Capacity of 3,500

Stadio XXV Aprile (Zebra) Zebre are an Italian professional rugby union team competing in the RaboDirect Pro12 and the Heineken Cup from the 2012/13 season. They are based in Parma, Italy. They are operated by the FIR and replaced Aironi in the Pro12

Entry by Italian teams into the Celtic League had been proposed for many years. After several failed attempts there was hope that a deal for Italian entry would be done in time for the 2010/2011 season, with the Scots delaying support for entry until changes were made to the Celtic League management structure. In February 2010 it was announced that the planned expansion of the Celtic League was to be put on hold. The reasons were the insistence by existing members that the Italian teams could be ejected after three years. Also the financial demands the league placed on the Italians could not be met. The existing teams said this was to cover the need to have larger squads to cover the extra fixtures and additional travel expenses. Agreement was reached in early March 2010 to allow Italian teams entry to the Celtic League in time for the 201011 season. The clubs will also be guaranteed places annually into the Heineken Cup which had previously been awarded to the two top teams in the Super 10.

Italy have failed to make an impact in the Six Nations Championship since joining in 2000. This has largely been blamed on the fact their best players do not have a competitive enough domestic tournament or are forced to play abroad. The fact that the Six Nations decider in 2009 between Wales and Ireland featured 42 Celtic League players out of 44 in their squads supported this notion.

After initial applications in 2010 it was proposed that Aironi would join along with a new team Praetorians Roma, but Benetton Rugby Treviso were nominated instead. Benetton Treviso and Duchi Nord-Ovest could not agree to form one club to represent the Veneto region and lost out in the first round of bidding despite the region being the traditional home of Italian rugby. However Pretorians Roma failed to satisfy the evaluators of their financial muscle and Benetton Treviso were nominated in their place.

Aironi struggled in their first season. Only a surprise European Cup win over Biarritz was the only highlight of a campaign that saw them manage only one Pro 12 victory. At the end of a second season of struggle on the pitch, Aironi succumbed to financial difficulties off it. Their licence, to play both in the European Cup and Pro 12 League was revoked by the Italian Rugby Federation. The Federation decided against another domestic Italian club taking over the running of the licence, instead opting to maintain complete control of a planned new franchise. In June 2012 it was announced that the new franchise would be known as Zebre and based in Parma.

So the stadium, according to wikipedia is at the coordinates 4449?34?N 1019?44?E. Unfortunately google maps is not updated just yet and so we will just have to go with that. We did pull the above picture from their website though so that should help.

The main train station in Parma is under-going works. In the meantime they have opened a "temporary station"... here. It seems to be quite central but a little north of the main center.

The airport is to the north west of the city.