Work is set to commence on the redevelopment of Rome’s Stadio Flaminio on Monday, with the ultimate goal of returning the stadium’s status as the home of Italian rugby union.
The stadium was first opened in 1959 ahead of Rome’s staging of the 1960 summer Olympic Games. It was the home of Italy’s rugby union team for its entry into the Six Nations competition in 2000 through to 2011, when the team moved to play at the Stadio Olimpico in the Italian capital.
The facility has been left derelict for a number of years, but the City of Rome’s Councillor for Sports, Daniele Frongia, has now confirmed that work will start on Monday on a three-phase renovation project.
The first phase involves renovation of the stadium and the entire surrounding area, including Villaggio Olimpico, Via Guido Reni and the Ponte della Musica. The second phase will include work to bring the Flaminio up to a standard where it can host events in a limited capacity. The final stage involves the stadium potentially returning as a major rugby venue.
Frongia said, according to the LaRoma24.it website: “This is something new that we have been waiting for a long time, a year zero from which to start again to give new life to an architectural jewel that has been left to itself.
“In this regard, last week, Mayor Virginia Raggi and I received an official note from the president of CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) Giovanni Malagò. Inside was contained a full-bodied and concrete project together with FIR (Italian Rugby Federation) to bring back the Stadio Flaminio as the ‘home of rugby’.”
Regarding the new-look Flaminio’s potential usage as a football venue, Frongia said that talks with Serie A club Lazio had been held, but were not progressed, while there was never any contact with Roma as it continues its own stadium project.
Andrea Abodi, president of the Istituto per il Credito Sportivo, added: “There will also be the rebirth of other facilities within the structure, such as the swimming pool and gyms, there will be other sports disciplines hosted. Football events could also be carried out, I imagine more than anything else related to the youth sectors. From this point of view the contents are not yet definitive, but the main usage will remain that of rugby.”