Rome: Turbulent week for Roma’s stadium

source: IlTempo.it

Rome: Turbulent week for Roma’s stadium It began with extremely positive analysis of the impact Stadio della Roma might have on Rome’s economy. It ends with “Il Tempo” suggesting the project might be dead. What a week in Rome…

It’s been a real rollercoaster for AS Roma and not one they would have wished for. The week began with very good publicity for the club. On Monday the Sapienza University released findings of an analysis commissioned by AS Roma.

How will Stadio della Roma and associated commercial-office park impact Rome in the next decade? According to the findings highlighted by Roma: brilliantly. Annual increase of €142 in tax revenue, up to 20,000 new jobs in offices alone and resulting decrease in unemployment by up to 0.8%. That’s only a small piece of benefits suggested in the report.

Stadio della Roma

And all of that free of charge, as AS Roma suggests. After all, the €1.6 billion project (of which the stadium represents roughly 25%) would be covered entirely by private funds. Except that such presentation is inaccurate. Public infrastructure adjustments alone (problematic subway extension, new bridge, highway exit, etc.) are expected to run well beyond €200 million.

Still, on Tuesday the project seemed close to being accepted even by its fiercest opponent, Paolo Berdini, councilor for urban planning. He and other planning committee members met with AS Roma officials and comments on both sides were encouraging after the heated meeting. Berdini assured the project might be launched soon if a consensus is reached, Roma were asked to amend their project to an acceptable extent.

Stadio della Roma

Except that yesterday a new report surfaced (dated October 25) from the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape. The report is clearly critical of how Stadio della Roma proceedings were carried out.

Three skyscrapers planned next to the stadium are a major issue as they may negatively impact Rome’s protected landscape, if they would be visible in historical parts of the city. No sufficient evidence to the contrary has been presented so far, while the Superintendence also attacked lack of proper cooperation on ministerial level.

Stadio della Roma

Also yesterday a meeting of the planning committee took place, again starring primarily Berdini. The councilor repeated almost all (if not all) of his past and present arguments against the stadium (towers too tall, extent of public spending too large, etc.), even resorting to reminding that there still are many other possible sites for a new Roma stadium. Such point would have been valid in 2014, but it seems ridiculous after two years of work on the Tor di Valle site by all parties involved.

This week was when the planning committee was expected to rubberstamp the project. It didn’t happen, even if some members seemed literally bored or irate over Berdini’s approach. Several officials pleaded to push the stadium forward, but no definitive move was made.

While the project isn’t dead because of the obstructions (yet), today “Il Tempo” editor Fernando M. Magliaro suggests it might well be in the near future.