Stadio della Roma site acquired by Czech billionaire

The long-delayed project to deliver a new stadium for Italian Serie A football club AS Roma has taken a fresh twist after the company which owns the land on which it is proposed to be built was sold.

Italian financial services company UniCredit has approved the sale of the group of companies controlled by Italian businessman Luca Parnasi to CPI Property Group, a Luxembourg-headquartered commercial real estate firm owned by Czech billionaire Radovan Vitek.

The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper said CPI will pay €250m (£225.3m/$294.2m) for Capital Dev, Parsitalia and Eurnova. The latter company owns the land in the Tor di Valle district of Rome, valued at around €50m, on which the Stadio della Roma and an associated business park is proposed to be built.

The news is said to make it easier for the Municipality of Rome to finally give the official green light to the project, but this may still be complicated by the plans of Roma’s new American owners The Friedkin Group, who are said to be weighing up alternative sites.

US billionaire Dan Friedkin in August agreed a deal to purchase Roma. Friedkin, who serves as chairman and chief executive of The Friedkin Group, assumed ownership of the club from fellow American James Pallotta, who purchased Roma in 2012.

Roma currently shares the Stadio Olimpico with cross-city rival Lazio and Pallotta had a long-held vision for the club to move into the proposed 52,500-seat Stadio della Roma. Back in March 2019, Pallotta had expressed his hope that the project would be completed by 2023 but there has been little progress since then.

The project was first put forward in February 2012 but has been beset by delays at government level, as well as a high-profile corruption scandal. The project was given the green light by the city and the region’s four main governing bodies in December 2017 but still required further approval before work could begin.

Image: Stadio della Roma