February 27 – The long-running on-off saga of Roma’s new stadium plans looks to have been resolved with the club and the Rome local authorities announcing they have come to a deal on the new Stadio della Roma late on Friday. To celebrate Roma beat in-form Inter Milan 3-1 in Milan to retain second spot in Serie A.
AS Roma president Jim Pallotta has made the move to a new stadium the key objective of his tenure, insisting that the club cannot move forward significantly until it has a modern and commercially viable stadium in which to base its business.
“It has been a long, long journey – it almost feels like how it must have been for our Roman ancestors on their many campaigns,” said Pallotta in a statement on the club’s website.
“But the next step on the journey is in front of us…Profound thanks also to the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, the deputy mayor, Luca Bergamo, and the many other government officials involved in this process…This is an important evening for AS Roma. We look forward to building a stadium that the club, and the city, can showcase to the entire football world.”
The agreement did not come without compromise though. The plan to build on the disused and dilapidated horse race track had been under fire from activists citing the historical importance of the site.
The new plan for the site has seen more than 70% of the proposed business park surrounding the stadium dropped as well as plans for three skyscrapers shelved. The overall square footage of the side has been halved. The quid pro quo is that the project has political backing.
“We’ve reached a deal with Roma,” said Raggi to a supportive crowd after the meeting with the club and various assorted legal representatives.
“This is a historic day, not just for Roma, who has made its dream of having a modern facility concrete, but also for the city,” said Roma general manager Mauro Baldissoni.
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