AS Roma president James Pallotta has said that the Italian Serie A football club’s planned Stadio della Roma will serve as the “new Colosseum” in the country’s capital.
The club is set to begin work on it new stadium after last month finally gaining approval from four main governing bodies. Since the Stadio della Roma project was revealed in February 2012, it has been beset by delays at government level.
Speaking ahead of construction, Pallotta talked up the potential impact that the new stadium will have on Rome, and went as far to say that, when complete, it could rival the city’s famous Colosseum.
“It will be the new Colosseum,” Pallotta said at the Leaders In Sport conference, according to the Football-Italia.net website.
“You can’t build a global brand without owning your own stadium. Everyone in Rome wants this stadium – except maybe Lazio fans, and they’ll get to play there once a year.”
Pallotta opened up about security at the new stadium, saying that the club will ensure that it does as much as it can to keep fans safe.
“We’re spending a lot of time deciding on what security measures there will be, what kind of facial recognition we’ll use,” Pallotta said.
“Have any of you seen a match in Italy? Do you know what the derby between Roma and Lazio is like? In the north of Italy they don’t fight much, it’s not like that, but in the south like in Naples and Rome the security problems are very significant.
“A year-and-a-half ago we went to the police, sat around a table and asked: ‘why don’t you arrest these people?’. I opened up a file of people who had committed some acts but there were only blurred images.
“So they asked us to install HD cameras inside and we bought them, despite the fact we don’t own the stadium, to see who was creating the problems.”