Roma signs Stadio Olimpico 2020 lease as new stadium project stalls

Italian Serie A football club AS Roma has agreed a deal to remain at the Stadio Olimpico until at least 2020 despite hopes of building and moving into a new stadium.

The new agreement means that Roma will continue to play all home matches at the venue, which has been its home since the 1953-54 season, until the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

Italian newspaper Il Messaggero has reported that this deal represents a ‘Plan B’ for the club, which had been keen on finalising plans to construct a new home in the Italian capital.

Earlier this year, Roma was granted permission to push ahead with plans for the stadium, which is expected to cost approximately €1.6bn ($1.89bn/£1.45bn) and boast a capacity of around 60,000.

The club hopes to begin playing matches at the venue by the 2020-21 season, but a series of delays in the initial planning process have cast doubts over this move-in date.

The City of Rome had raised various concerns over the design of the stadium and requested that the club look at the plans and come up with an alternate proposal, which was eventually given the go ahead in February.

Speaking at the time, Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi said: “We’ve revolutionised the design of the Roma stadium and turned it into an opportunity for Rome. We’ve always said that we’d be conducive to making the stadium happen, but only within the law and for the good of our city.”

“We’ve succeeded. We avoided the monster project inherited from the previous administration. In Tor di Valle, a new stadium will be built, but one that is modern, environmentally friendly, advanced from a technological viewpoint and, above all, a piece of art that respects the environment and land. A stadium done right.”

Roma currently shares the 72,000-capacity Stadio Olimpico with fierce city rival Lazio.

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