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The second tier of Italian football is known as Serie B and has been in operation since 1929. The league is contested between 22 teams who play each other once home and away each season with the objective to gain promotion to Italy’s top league, Serie A.
Serie B used to be contested by 20 teams before expanding to 24 in the 2003/04 season before dropping back to 22 as Serie grew from an 18 to a 20 team league.
Promotion & Relegation
Promotion to Seri A is automatic for the top two teams at the end of the season and the 3rd placed team can also go up automatically if they finish 9 or more points clear of the 4th placed team. If not there is a play off and as long as teams finish within a 14 point cut off it can involve as many as 6 teams.
Relegation is automatic for those finishing in the bottom three places of Serie B. If the team finishing fourth from bottom is within 5 points of the team above there will then be a play-off involving the two teams. The tie is played over two legs with the aggregate winner staying in Serie A and the loser being demoted to Serie B. If the tie finishes equal, the lower placed team is demoted to Serie B.
Serie B Green Card
In an effort to promote fair play and sportsmanship, Serie B introduced the ‘Green Card’ in season 2015/16. The card is awarded after a match with the player or coach with the most at the end of the season getting an award.
Serie B Stadium Capacities
As there are a large number of teams promoted and demoted to and from Serie B the average stadium capacity fluctuates every season. Currently the stadium capacities vary from the largest at Bari’s San Nicola Stadium with a capacity of 58, 270 to Virtus Entella’s Comunale Stadium holding just 4, 154. The following shows all the 2016/17 teams current stadium capacities.
Virtus Entella 4,154
Pro Vercelli 5,500
Both Genoa and Atalanta have won the most Serie B championships with six apiece, Genoa have also finished runners up once while Atalanta have been runners up three times.