The new rugby and American football field in San Bartolo a Cintoia will open to the public on March 14, following an official ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:45pm in the presence of Florence mayor Matteo Renzi and vice mayor and superintendent of sports Dario Nardella. An opening game between the Under 18 national rugby teams of Italy and Japan will take place later that evening. ‘[It is] an opportunity to strengthen the friendship with the Japanese people a year after the tragic earthquake,’ says Nardella.The new rugby and American football field measures 120×70 metres, and features a modern lighting system and grandstand for 750 spectators. The new stadium has a full range of facilities for athletes, including locker rooms, an infirmary, as well as offices, a small store and reception area, and a dining area. All areas of the stadium are accessible to the disabled and/or physically impaired.‘The new stadium enriches the panorama of Florence and offers a “home” to the friends of American football and is an important response to the needs of the growing number of rugby fans. This is the first step of the broader redevelopment of the Cavallacchio, where a sports center will be built to serve the Quartiere of the city,’ Nardella added.The second of phase of construction, during which the grandstand will be covered, will be completed in 2013. The total cost of the new sports facility is 1,600,000 euro.