December 7 – Serie A side AS Roma have been given the go-ahead to build their own stadium after an on-off project planning process that has taken five years to complete.
Currently sharing the Stadio Olimpico with arch-rivals Lazio, Roma’s new stadium will be built in the Tor di Valle area of the city, will have a capacity of 52,500 (expandable to 60,000) and will feature a 14,000-seater ‘Curva’.
It will be Italy’s most modern stadium and is expected to begin construction in April/May next year with completion in time for the start of the 2020/21 season.
An initial loan agreement is in place with Goldman Sachs for €30 million to cover the stadium’s pre-development expenses with talks on the full funding required expected to be completed in the next few week. Total cost was originally estimated at €400 million, though that looks like a low figure in comparison to other stadium construction currently taking place in Europe.
Roma president James Pallotta said: “This is a pivotal day for Rome and for AS Roma. I’m delighted because I know what this decision could mean for Rome itself, for our club’s future and for our fans – and we want to give them the home they deserve.”
The final planning decision marked the conclusion of discussion among the four main bodies overseeing the project: Roma Capitale, the Metropolitan City, Lazio Regione and the government.
“There are still a few administrative steps that need to be taken before the whole process is completed and we can begin construction but the project has now been approved,” club managing director Mauro Baldissoni said in a club press release,
“We’re ready to start out on the final road that will lead us to breaking ground, probably in late spring – hopefully around April or early May so that we can aim to finish in time for the 2020-21 season and be ready in August 2020.
“It’s been a team effort. This project has taught us that when you work together as a team you get results. This such a big and important project – it’s system-wide. And for that we must thank everyone who helped make this possible.”
Tuesday was a good day for the club which also qualified for the last 16 of this season’s Champions League.
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