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Hope for Roma new stadium after years of complications

After years of constant challenges in Italy's ancient capital, it is now believed that Roma new stadium project will have a definitive plan by the end of February.

Moving away from their home at Stadio Olimpico has proved to be an incredibly difficult process for Roma, although the club finally appear to be making progress.

That said, the club had previously presented definitive plans for a new stadium under previous owner James Pallotta, and they were ultimately scrapped before a single spade had entered the ground.

Roma set to present Pietralata project for new stadium

AS Roma logo printed on corner flag
Roma expected to present new project before the end of February / Photo by Icon Sport

What updates have been given?

During September and October 2023, a public debate took place regarding Roma's potential new stadium. This debate resulted in the drawing up of two separate documents.

The first of which was a summary of the main observations that occurred during the debate, while the second was a summary of the themes. The combination of the two will be used to evaluate which issues will be explored further after the final project has been presented by the club.

As with the vast majority of new stadium builds, the main concern is expected to be the potential impact it would have on the environment in the surrounding area.

Roma new stadium an ongoing saga

Constructing a brand-new stadium is never easy and inevitably comes with a wide array of unforeseen complications. However, the situation at Roma has been arguably more difficult than most.

Pallotta first presented the location for the club's new stadium at Tor Di Valle way back in 2016 and since then, very little real progress has been made. Indeed, the city of Rome has cycled through four different Mayors in the same timeframe.

In 2021, new owner Dan Friedkin then announced that the club had scrapped those plans, citing political interference as the main reason why the Roma new stadium project could not get off the ground.

The initial Tor Di Valle project was nothing more than a disappointment for everyone associated with the club, and left many fans angry at those who made it nearly impossible for the Giallorossi to make progress with their plans.

At least now, under the watch of the club's new ownership, there appears to be a glimmer of hope.

Roma's planned stadium in Pietralata

The club's most recent project will see their new stadium constructed in the neighbourhood of Pietralata, located in the Italian capital city, Rome.

Roberto Gualtieri, the current Mayor of the city, provided Roma fans with further encouragement in late 2023, saying: “We have welcomed the club’s willingness and commitment to build the stadium and a piece of the road has already been taken.”

There is also reason to believe that the club's new stadium will be incredibly modern, given the fact that Populous, the same architectural company that helped construct Tottenham Hotspur's breathtaking new stadium, is working on the new project for the Giallorossi.

To provide further encouragement to fans of the Italian side, the Friedkin group are reportedly prepared to invest approximately £513 million into the project, financed by the Bank of America and JP Morgan, while the revenue generated from the new stadium is expected to be around £60 million a year.

Will Jose Mourinho's sacking have an impact?

There is, however, a potential downside to the club's recent sacking of the opinion-dividing Jose Mourinho, given that the arrival of the ‘Special One' at Stadio Olimpico saw a drastic increase in fan attendance at the stadium.

In the season prior to his appointment, the average attendance at Roma's home ground was just 26, 956, leaving many seats empty in a stadium with a capacity of over 70,000.

This figure rose in each of Mourinho's first two seasons at the club, with the Italian side recording an average attendance of over 62,000 in the second of those two campaigns. Of course, that gave the American owners good incentive to build a new stadium, but it remains to be seen whether those numbers will continue in the post-José era.

One lesson to learn about plans for a Roma new stadium comes from decades of scrapped plans and false starts with Italian stadiums. Never count on anything until work has actually begun.

Harry Dowsett

Freelance football writer with experience writing for multiple digital platforms, such as GIVEMESPORT. Recently graduated from Portsmouth University with a media studies degree - completing a dissertation on the evolution of sports journalism in the process. He has a love for Arsenal Football Club and a passion for football as a whole.

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