Design & Development

Roma stadium project gains council backing

Featured image credit: City Council of Rome

AS Roma’s proposal to develop a new stadium in the Pietralata district of Rome has secured its first local backing following the project being granted public interest status.

The Council of the IV Municipality of Tiburtino yesterday (Tuesday) backed the plans, albeit with certain observations and requests. The project received 16 votes in favour, two against and seven abstentions.

Requests put forward fall under two key subjects, according to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero. These are guaranteeing full access for emergency vehicles entering and exiting the Sandro Pertini hospital, along with increasing the number of parking spaces to address concerns over traffic in the area.

President of the Council of the IV Municipality of Tiburtino, Massimiliano Umberti, said: “I know that Roma is studying our observations and that they will provide us with solutions. It is on this conviction that we are voting today, because as far as the territory and the opportunities are concerned, the project convinces us.”

The observations and proposals put forward will now be studied before a final project is voted on by the City Council of Rome, effectively firing the starting gun on the development. Roma last month hailed the “important step” of its proposed new stadium being declared a project of public interest.

The City Council of Rome approved a resolution granting public interest status to the feasibility study put forward by Roma, stating the project will represent a “strategic intervention” for the overall regeneration and urban redevelopment of the Pietralata district.

The feasibility study was presented in October, with reports at the time stating that the project is set to come with a total price tag of €582.1m (£518.3m/$613.4m). The preliminary project presented by Roma covers an area of ​​approximately 20 hectares and envisions the construction of a facility for 55,000 spectators, which can be extended to 62,000. The project includes the construction of parking lots, green areas covering over 15 hectares and cycle/pedestrian paths.

Roma detailed plans to build a new stadium in Pietralata back in July, stating at the time that the Roma Capitale administrative body “positively acknowledged” the willingness of the club to present a feasibility study.

Confirmation of Roma’s plans came 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 plot of land owned by the Municipality of Rome.

The proposal marked 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 with cross-city rival SS Lazio, which is also exploring stadium options, 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.