The Municipality of Rome has said Italian Serie A football club SS Lazio has until the end of the year to present a proposal to utilise a redeveloped Stadio Flaminio as its potential new home.
Lazio currently shares the Stadio Olimpico with Serie A rival AS Roma, but both clubs have been exploring stadium projects of their own. In June 2021, Lazio 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 in the 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, with the Municipality, its owner, seeking ways in which to bring it back to life.
Speaking at a meeting yesterday (Tuesday), Alessandro Onorato, Councillor for Major Events, Sports, Tourism and Fashion, said, according to RomaToday.it: “At the end of August, Lazio presented a request for documents that were promptly delivered by the sports department.
“We are waiting to know if Lazio wants to present a project or not, but we cannot wait forever. We can wait until the end of the year at the latest, then at that point we will also explore other projects.”
At the meeting, Nando Bonessio, president of the Sports Commission, is said to have set out other potential future guises for the Flaminio, if Lazio is not involved. These included conversion into a cycling velodrome, or a showpiece indoor athletics arena.
The Flaminio served as the temporary home of Lazio and Roma during the 1989-90 season while renovation work was carried out at the Stadio Olimpico ahead of the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Onorato said: “We cannot wait forever for Lazio’s availability and concrete planning. It would be the mistake that the previous councils made, meaning that today the Flaminio has become the symbol of inaction.”
Roma is pushing forward with its own plans for a new stadium. Earlier this month it was reported that Roma’s proposed new stadium in the Pietralata district of Rome will have a capacity rising to 62,000 and is set to come with a total price tag of €582.1m (£504.2m/$583.4m).
Onorato added that “starting an evaluation process of the Stadio Flaminio with Lazio, while proceeding parallel to the screening of that of Roma would be perfect”, because it would demonstrate that “Rome is a city capable of attracting investment”.