Italian Serie A football club SS Lazio has put forward an “important and serious proposal” to make the Stadio Flaminio its new home, according to Angelo Diario, president of the Sports Commission of the Municipality of Rome.
Earlier this month, Claudio Lotito confirmed his interest in the concept with the Lazio president reported to have set out certain conditions, including that the Flaminio be transformed into a 40,000-seat venue.
The Flaminio was built ahead of the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and initially served as a football ground before hosting matches played by Italy’s rugby union team from 2000 to 2011. The stadium has been closed since 2011 and has since fallen into a state of disrepair.
“We are verifying the constraints for the feasibility of conditions set by Lotito that are necessary to make the project interesting,” Diario said, according to Italian newspaper Leggo.
“This is an important and serious proposal, which made us really happy, also because we have the utmost availability. The Flaminio is for us a monument which has been closed for 10 years and which must be accessible again.”
The Flaminio served as the temporary home of Lazio and Serie A rival AS Roma during the 1989-90 season while renovation work was carried out at the Stadio Olimpico ahead of the FIFA World Cup.
Lazio is said to want to move out of the Olimpico due to the athletics track that sits between the pitch and the stands, along with the fact the club struggles to fill the stadium on a regular basis. Roma has also been exploring its options following the high-profile collapse of its effort to develop a new 52,500-seat stadium in the Tor di Valle neighbourhood of the city.
Diario continued: “We will check if all the conditions are met, then the ball will go to Lazio who will have to present a project with a partnership proposal, but since there is 99.9% public interest, I see no impediments.”
Diario said that with the Flamino remaining a property of the Municipality of Rome, a possible agreement with Lazio could include a long-term lease deal of “no less than 30 years”. In January, Daniele Frongia, Rome’s Sports Councillor, confirmed that the city had received a “concrete” redevelopment proposal from AS Roma Nuoto, a swimming and water polo club based in the capital.
The proposal includes the redevelopment of the stadium into a multi-purpose venue capable of hosting sports such as football, fencing, swimming, dancing and gymnastics. AS Roma Nuoto would work with a group of private partners on the project, which would look to preserve the original structure of the Pier Luigi Nervi-designed stadium. A conservation plan was outlined in October to explore how the stadium can be reimagined without impacting its architectural structure.
Diario added: “Lazio wants to accelerate as much as we do and we would be happy to conclude this mandate with the start of the project. Lazio will now have to do its accounts because we are talking about an important investment.
“The project filed by Roma Nuoto was around €80m (£68.4m/$95.6m) and I believe that the figure is still that, in principle.”