Serie A runner-up AS Roma have announced plans for an ambitious £1 Billion (€1.5 billion) plan for a new, privately financed stadium and surrounding business and entertainment centre.
Pending government approval, construction will begin on the city’s outskirts by December and last up to two years, the club’s American president James Pallotta announced Monday as he handed over a detailed dossier on the project to city authorities.
‘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,’ Pallotta said, adding that the entire project will amount to ‘one of the most important projects in Italy in many, many decades.’
Slated to open during the 2017-18 season, the stadium has been a big goal since Roma was purchased by a four-man group of Boston executives, who in 2011 became the first foreign majority owners of a Serie A club.
With a design inspired by the Colosseum, the stadium will seat 52,500 spectators and be able to expand to 60,000 for major matches.
The site in Tor di Valle is about halfway between downtown and the Leonardo Da Vinci airport. The 300 acre area will also include a training ground for Roma, three high-rise office towers, plus parks and commercial and entertainment areas. Costs for the stadium itself are estimated at £217 million but the overall price includes surrounding infrastructure and transport.
For years, Roma has shared the Stadio Olimpico with city rival Lazio but that stadium features a running track and poor sightlines for football. The new stadium will be purpose-built for football.
Juventus is the only major club in Italy that owns their own stadium, and the additional revenue from the stadium has allowed Juve to dominate Serie A in recent years. By comparison, Juventus make about twice as much annually from matchday revenue as Roma does.