Rome: Lazio's new home at Stadio Flaminio?
source: StadiumDB.com [TS]; author: Tomasz Sobura
Not only AS Roma is willing to build its own stadium. Lazio's authorities are also in favour of relocation from Stadio Olimpico. One of the options considered is the venue where “Biancocelesti” used to play.
From Olimpico to Flaminio?
Stadio Olimpico (70,634 seats) is way too big for Lazio. Large distance between the stands and the pitch does not help either. That is why the president of the club sees the need to find a place for the construction of a new stadium and thus increase the club's revenues, which undoubtedly ensures having its own ground.
His vision is to build a 40,000-seat arena on the base of Stadio Flaminio. Claudio Lotito plans are backed up by Lazio fans, who on September 2 organised a manifestation of support near the potential new stadium.
At the moment, Flaminio stands empty. This has been the case since 2011, after the main tenant (rugby national team) moved to Stadio Olimpico. What is worse, there is no conservation work carried out on the facility, which means that the venue is gradually degrading year by year.
Lots of constraints on the way
The modernization of Stadio Flaminio will not be easy, as it is subject to regulations on the protection of landmarks. According to the decree from 2004, it is an object of significant importance to the cultural heritage and landscape. So it cannot be demolished so that it can be rebuilt from scratch.
Moreover, the heirs of the stadium's designers (the Nervi family) own the copyright to Flaminio, which only expires in 2049. In practice, this prohibits any interference with the structure of the venue without their consent in the next 28 years.
Another difficulty is the fact that the arena is located on the site of a former Etruscan necropolis, so earthworks will require consultations with archaeologists. Recently, AS Roma was considering Flaminio as a location for its new stadium, and 10 years ago, the Italian Rugby Federation had similar plans. Both were unsuccessful.
There is guideline for upgrading
In 2017, a group of 36 experts commissioned by Getty Foundation, in consultation with the Rome authorities, began work on the development of a revamp plan for Stadio Flaminio. As a result of three years of efforts, 20 points have been created, which constitute guidelines for entities interested in changing the face of the facility.
Thus, reaching a capacity of 40,000 will only be possible by expanding the stadium upwards. For this reason, a superstructure that can accommodate 10,000 spectators is needed. Any changes in the appearance of the facade and the layout of stands are not possible.
They can only be renewed. Another issue is the sports facilities at the rear of the ground, most of which have to be kept unchanged. This raises the question of whether Lazio needs them for anything and whether these spaces can be better used for other purposes.
Work is currently underway to assess the possibility of creating a new Lazio stadium on the basis of Stadio Flaminio. Roberto Gualtieri, Rome's new mayor, looks at the club's plans with a hint of enthusiasm. In addition, Lotito cooperates with the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti bank, with which it would like to transform the area around the stadium into a recreation and sports park.
Author: Tomasz Sobura