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30 July 2019 | in Summer FISU World University Games, Hosting

Summer Universiade 2019 success shows in ticket sales

The final event of the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade was a standing room only crowd as Italy withstood USA in the men's waterpolo gold medal game

Living up to the promise of being among the greatest shows in sports this year, Napoli 2019 organisers sold over 300,000 tickets to the 30th Summer Universiade.


Packed stadiums with passionate sports fans made for an event experience, one that left a profound effect on the student-athlete competitors


NAPOLI — The event spectator success begins with Napoli itself. The capital city of southern Italy's Campania region rests in a cultural and economic hub tailor-made for sports fans and tourists alike. Boasting an unbeatable food scene, a stunning history of architecture and archeology, all enhanced by the Mediterranean coast and lifestyle.


A sporting devotion to watch top athletic performances and performers – at the premeire multisport event for student-atheltes – doesn’t hurt, either.


It’s no wonder then that over 300,000-ticketed spectators took in the twelve days of action of the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade, according to official data from Napoli 2019 organisers. This includes nearly 45,000 fans in the stands for men’s and women’s football. These figures were bolstered with event sell-outs in volleyball, gymnastics, swimming and water polo.


Swimming drew more than 15,000 spectators to the Scandone Swimming complex, with water polo, sdding nearly 25,000 more attendees. The venue's pinnacle performance came during the very last sporting moment of the 30th Summer Universiade during the men’s water polo final between Italy and USA. The host nation secured a stunning gold medal in a packed Piscine Scandone. The passionate and boisterous audience atmosphere only added to the experience. 

 The crowd were on their feet during the 4x200m swimming relay final at the Piscine Scandone venue

“Its feels so very good, it was important to win in front of our supporters,” said Italy’s gold medal winning water polo captain, Umberto Esposito. “This is very emotional.” 


Added teammate Massimo Di Martire: “This is an incomparable feeling. I have never seen Scandone like this, I have never seen Scandone so full of people.” 


The volleyball audience peaked during the men’s gold medal match between Italy and Poland as 6,000 spectators packed into the circular confines of the PalaSele venue in Eboli. The local fans went home after witnessing another Italian gold medal with a fifth set victory. All told, 36,000 volleyball tickets were sold and used between the two venues in Nocera and Eboli.

 Russia celebrating their golden tournament run at the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade

The back-and-forth battle, and ensuing support from the crowd didn’t go missing from the players.


“Winning was not easy, against a group as great as this Poland team,” said Francesco Zollellari after receiving his gold medal. “They put us in some difficult positions. However, supported by our great supporters, we achieved this precious objective”.


Artistic and rhythmic gymnastics also drew notable crowds to their competitions, which totaled over 14,000 ticket-buying spectators through the event.

 The Italian gymnasts matched the crowds intensity with their emotive performances, on and off the field of play. Throughout the 30th Summer Universiade, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics drew strong numbers of passionate fans.

“Today it was great to see the whole building cheer for us, despite the fact that there is much more pressure,” said Martina Rizzelli, who helped the Italian women take home the artistic gymnastics team event bronze medal.


Rizzelli added that fans cheering on all helped raise the level of both her and her competitors: “It is essential to remain very united in the field; mutual comparison and the support of the companions is a way to improve our performance.”


While the host nation didn’t factor into the medal discussion in men’s or women’s basketball, over 30,000 people watched the competitions across four game venues.

 Team USA leaving no doubt in the men's final en route to an undefeated gold medal run at the 30th Summer Universiade


With the USA team often playing to sell-out crowds back home, Napoli’s sporting passion still left a mark on the gold medal winning team.   “My team and I will keep this experience in our hearts,” USA team captain and forward Amir Simms said. “The love that the supporters are showing us inside and outside the venues is incredible and outstanding. Thank you, Naples!”


 The opening and closing acts of the 30th Summer Universiade contributed to the over 300,000 tickets sold with two full capacity crowd events in the legendary San Paulo Stadium

Fittingly, the 30th Summer Universiade ended as it began: with a sold-out Stadium San Paulo matching the athletes’ well-earned parade with the echo and embrace of 33,000 appreciative spectators cheering in unison. In the end, the closing festivities traded out the tenor of Andrea Bocelli for dancing pandas as the eyes of international university sport now turn to Chengdu, China as the next event host in two years’ time.


The future host city has 16 million inhabitants and almost one million students enrolled in 64 nearby colleges and universities. While an ultra-modern metropolis, Chengdu is also a city with a thousand-year culture especially known for its gastronomy,  making it a worthy heir from Napoli to host the 31st Summer Universiade.

All great things have to come to an end: closing time to the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade