Soccer: Roma present plan for swanky new stadium

IMG class=hide alt=”Soccer: Roma present plan for swanky new stadium” src=”” (By Paul Virgo) (ANSA) – Rome, March 26 – AS Roma on Wednesday presented their plans to build a swanky new stadium in the southern Tor di Valle area of the Italian capital. PThe American-controlled club, who are currently second in Serie A, hope the 52,000-capacity ground will be ready in two years./PPThe three-time Italian champions currently pay the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to use Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, which they share with city rivals Lazio and occasionally, the national rugby team./PP”The project, we hope, will take only two years, and it will create many jobs,” said Chairman James Pallotta, a member of the Boston consortium that made Roma Serie A’s first foreign-controlled club in 2011./PP”It will be ultra-modern and amazing”./PPThe fact that most Italian clubs do not own their grounds, and therefore cannot use them to generate revenue, is widely blamed for Serie A’s recent decline in spending power and loss of competitiveness with respect to the top flights of Spain, Germany and England./PPThe project for the new stadium includes facilities for music and entertainment, including a 500-person stage in a Roma-themed Restaurant, a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater and a 13,000-seat amphitheater within the Stadium./PPIt will also be possible to host big music concerts at the stadium itself, which will also be home to shops, bars and conference facilities./PP”It is extremely important that the project provides a safe and secure year-round sports, entertainment, shopping and dining experience for the people and visitors of Rome,” said Pallotta./PP”For a stadium development to be truly successful today, it must become part of the everyday fabric of people’s lives”./PPJuventus have prospered since they became the first top-flight Italian club to open their own stadium in 2011 and the Turin giants look on course to win their third consecutive Serie A title. American Architect Dan Meis said the aim of Roma’s stadium was to recreate the “glory and power of the Colosseum”./PPAt Wednesday’s presentation the club uncovered a model of the ground, which is not dissimilar to the Olimpico, minus the athletics track that separates the fans from the field./PPThe new plan for the wood-and-steel structure was not a hit with everyone though as famous Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas on Tuesday called it “horrendous”, “ugly” and “of bad taste”./PPOn Wednesday Meis responded that “any architect would be jealous because they would have liked to create Roma’s stadium”./PPRoma’s hopes of having the ground ready in two years will in part depend in planning permission and bureaucratic procedures, which can be especially time-consuming and arduous in Italy./PPBut Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said the city was ready to do its part./PP”I want to throw Jim (Palotta) a challenge – we will do our work diligently, but we want (Roma captain) Francesco (Totti) and others already to be able to play for the season 2016-17 in the new stadium,” said Marino. The mayor said that, while the stadium would cost around 300 million euros to build, the overall investment may amount to around one billion euros when all the related infrastructure works are considered./PPFormer Italy forward Totti, a born-and-bred Roman who has only ever played senior soccer for the club he supported as a child, was enthusiastic./PP”It’s a wonderful project,” said the 37-year-old, Serie A’s second-top scorer of all time with 233 league goals. “Let’s hope it is built quickly. The Giallorossi fans deserve a unique stadium that gives you goose pimples”. Other Serie A teams use stadiums owned by local councils, grounds that are often uncomfortable and in poor condition because clubs have little incentive to invest in facilities they do not own./P
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