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Roma confirms plans for new stadium in Pietralata

Italian Serie A football club AS Roma has detailed plans to build a new stadium in the Pietralata district of Rome.

In a statement released today (Thursday), Roma said that the Roma Capitale administrative body “positively acknowledges” the willingness of the club to present a feasibility study to build a new stadium on the site.

The study will be presented in the coming weeks. According to Roma, the initial urbanistic examination carried out on the identified site did not highlight any obstacles to prevent the project.

Roma Capitale will now evaluate the proposal, which the club states represents a “driver for the sustainable redevelopment” of the Pietralata district without “urban aggravation”.

Today’s statement follows a series of joint meetings between the club and Roma Capitale. Confirmation of Roma’s plans comes after it was reported in May that the club had issued the first draft of a project that would see a stadium with a seating capacity between 55,000 and 60,000 developed on a 47,000-square-metre plot of land owned by the Municipality of Rome.

The land is located behind Tiburtina, one of Rome’s main railway stations, with public transport being targeted for between 52% and 60% of fans to travel to the stadium.

Roma has not confirmed any details of the planned stadium, but the club is said to be targeting an English-style venue, with Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium reportedly an inspiration. The preliminary study presented by Roma to the Municipality included accompanying works such as a shopping centre, hotel and restaurants.

“The will to build the stadium for 2026 is there,” Roma chief executive Pietro Berardi said, according to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We will have to work a lot on both sides, but so far everything has gone well so I want to thank the mayor and his team for the support they have given. It was important to make this announcement on this occasion. Now we roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

The proposal marks the first significant move on a new stadium by Roma’s American owners, the Friedkin group, since the club in February 2021 dropped plans for a new stadium in the Tor di Valle neighbourhood of the city.

Roma had long held plans for a new stadium in Tor di Valle but a change in ownership at the club in August 2020 cast fresh doubt over the project. Following February 2021’s announcement, the club said it was still committed to exploring options for a new stadium at a number of sites.

The Stadio della Roma project was central to former owner James Pallotta’s long-held vision for the club, which has shared the Stadio Olimpico (pictured) with cross-city rival SS Lazio since it opened in 1953. The project, which was first put forward in February 2012, centred on a 52,500-seat stadium but was hit by a number of delays.

Image: Liam McKay on Unsplash