AS Roma’s new American owners have finally got what they wanted after it was confirmed the club have the green light to build a new stadium in the capital.
Roma’s president James Pallotta revealed on Wednesday that a new stadium would be built in time for Euro 2016 – suggesting Italy’s warm-up matches could be held there – with the club following the blueprints of Juventus’ ultra-modern new arena as the basis of their project.
“The stadium, which will seat 60,000, includes shops and restaurants, has been planned by world famous architect Dan Meis and must be ready for the 2016 European Championships,” Pallotta told Il Sole 24 ore.
“I would’ve used the Coliseum, but they told me it was being used,” he joked.
The 60,000 capacity stadium will see AS Roma finally leave the capital’s Stadio Olimpico: a monstrosity of a stadium that featured the characteristic running track that has plagued Italian stadia for decades. Like Juventus fans, Roma supporters had to contend with watching their team through binoculars and the impracticality of the ground meant attendance figures remained depressingly low. That said, it hasn’t stopped them from making a solid start to the new Serie A season.
However, Roma appear determined to match the success of their Turin adversaries after Juve built on top of the Stadio delle Alpi to create a cauldron of noise fit for the Italian giants. The influence of a boisterous home crowd should not be under estimated and the new ground will certainly have an impact on the club’s Champions League title odds.
If Roma can emulate the feat of Juve then the national side will have a base of excellence in the capital to prepare for Euro 2016 in France.
With four years to go time is not exactly on Roma’s side to get this new ground built but at least the plans are in place to begin construction. Italy is slowly detaching itself from an era of empty and echoing stadia and Roma have the chance to create an imposing home for travelling supporters for years to come.