For the match I went to see, and indeed for all of the season, there were more crowd-control barriers than crowd, as the capacity had been reduced down to five thousand people split between the away fans’ perspex box, the Tribuna, and the Curva Nord. This last stand was however not part of the original structure - it was made of scaffolding sitting on the running track behind the goal, and so perched in front of the original terracing. The rest of the stadium was closed and condemned by the council, and looked like a building site. It was, all told, quite a bizarre sight, but perfectly in keeping with the surrounding area.
There had been a bit of a kerfuffle in the last few years between the council and the (soon to become former-) owner, Massimo Cellino, over the stadium. In 2012, after the Sant’Elia was closed for public safety reasons, the Sardinian team played in Trieste. For those of you who aren’t currently looking at an Italian map, Trieste is on the other side of the country near the border with Slovenia, which is over eight hundred and ten kilometres from Cagliari as the crow flies. So any away fans who went would almost certainly have an easier journey than the home fans. Cellino, having scored the first points in what seems to have basically been a giant pissing contest, moved the team back to Cagliari the next season to another pre-fab and scaffolding-made stadium, the IS Arena. While being easier for locals to get to see matches, it proved a little more difficult for the owner, the local Mayor and another official from the council, who were arrested for embezzlement and misrepresentation with regards to the work at the team’s new temporary home.