Whether you are a football fan or not, one of Italy’s top teams getting its own stadium is big news, especially when the stadium is being built for AS Roma. Plans were recently unveiled by club president Jim Pallotta, who hopes to make Roma one of the top football teams in the world. He promises the stadium will be a feature attraction for the city, and he aims to impress people around the world not only with a modern, impressive stadium, but with a Roman cultural influence as well.
Jim Pallotta became president of AS Roma back in 2012, when he and two of his colleagues placed bids on the club following the financial crisis of the preceding Sensi family. While Roma did excel last year, they are top contenders for Seria A in 2014 and are currently second in the standings. Pallotta has his ambitions higher than the Seria A, however, stating in an interview: “With the stadium there and if we do what our plans say we’re going to do, I believe we can be one of the top three clubs in the world. That’s the goal—I’m not afraid to say it.”
If Pallotta fulfills his plans, Roma will become only the second team in Italy to own its own stadium, after Juventus Stadium opened in 2011. Sponsored by GDCasino owner Bwin, Juventus has seen enormous success since the opening of their own field and are currently at the top of Serie A. They remain the most popular team in Italy, commanding nearly 30% of all Italian football fans according to Demos & Pi. Roma aims to achieve the same level of recognition once it acquires its own stadium as well, and news about the recently released plans is certainly creating a buzz around the world.
Currently dubbed “Stadio Della Roma,” the new AS Roma stadium will be a modern attraction and will offer cultural significance to Romans. The design is based on the Colosseum, and will offer a modern take on Rome’s significant history. With a sleek glass interior surrounded by a stone trim meant to imitate the arches of the monument itself, the stadium is sure to impress fans and citizens alike. The best news for Roma, however, is no longer needing to share a home with rival team SS Lazio, especially one that is growing antiquated (consider the old fashioned running track surrounding the pitch).
Whether Pallotta succeeds in his dreams remains to be seen, but a Roman stadium is certainly something to look forward to. If all goes as planned, Pallotta hopes to have the stadium opened in as little as two years, saying this in another interview:
“Hopefully we will have an expedited process and a two-year construction plan. I want to see Francesco be the first person to run out on that pitch.”
Pallotta speaks about Francesco Totti, of course, a native Roman and current captain of AS Roma. He is not the only Roman excited about the new stadium, either. Daniele De Rossi was also at the unveiling, taking the chance to add “we can’t wait to play in this stadium—of course we’ll keep winning in the current one too, but the new one is making our mouth water.” Daniele was heard considering changing teams to Manchester United, but a brand-new stadium might help keep the Roman at home.
You do not have to be a football fanatic to appreciate what this stadium can do for Roma and this great city. With the Stadio Olimpico over 70 years old now, it is a good time for a more modern look. With a Roman theme and design, this will surely be an impressive addition to Rome’s cultural heritage for years to come. You cannot replace history—but you can surely add to it!