AS Roma planning to build £1bn stadium for 2017/18 season
Roma are awaiting the green light to commence with plans to build a £1bn, 52,500 capacity stadium, which will go by the name of Stadio della Roma.
Ambitious club owner James Pallotta is desperate to turn I Lupi into European heavyweights, and is building the new stadium exclusively for the Italian side, saying: “If we are going to consistently compete as a top club in the world we need a new stadium, a stadium that is privately owned by AS Roma.”
Roma’s current home, the Stadio Olimpico, is shared with rivals SS Lazio, and has been Roma’s stomping ground for over 60 years. They are now going in a different direction with their pending ground, and will be able to expand to a 60,000 capacity if needed, a slight reduction from the 72,000 of the Olimpico – crucially there will also be no running track, the benefits of which can be seen with the new Juventus Stadium.
There have been issues with investment, as the entire cost has not been fully covered, but Pallotta is convinced it won’t be a problem. The actual ground itself will set Roma back an estimated £217m, with the remaining cost being down to transportation and infrastructure.
Pending planning permission, Roma want to be in their new home by the 2017/18 season, but reports suggest their Stadio della Roma could be complete by 2016.
“In terms of who wants to invest, we have a substantial list and I'm positive that they wouldn't like us to name them today. We don't feel like we're going to have an issue at all with the financing of the stadium,” Pallotta added.
Pallotta is also hoping the new ground will help to drive out the infamous “ultras” who have been to blame for fan violence and racial abuse at the Olimpico in the past.
He said: “Many people say to me they haven't felt comfortable taking their children or coming as a family to the stadium. That's just completely unacceptable.”
The Roma owner is ambitious, and wants to see that translating on the pitch in their new home. Roma have fallen short in the Serie A for the last 14 years, but they are currently backed in as second favourites for the title behind Juventus for the coming campaign, and Pallotta wants their future stadium to be one of perennial success.