The saga of building a facility for the footballers from the Eternal City continues in full swing. The club's owner, American billionaire Dan Friedkin, has shown the design of the stadium in the new location. This is good news for Giallorossi supporters, but there is still a long way to go.
Last year we reported on the final scrapping of plans to build a home arena for AS Roma at Tor di Valle. The club's owner pulled out of the project, arguing his decision on the grounds that the city of Rome's red-tapism and bureaucracy was constantly throwing up roadblocks. Friedkin, however, is not relenting in his intentions to move out of Stadio Olimpico. A new stadium is to be built in the Pietralata area.
Roma's officials have submitted a 20-page brochure to the city council outlining plans to build the facility. Wolves' new home in Pietralata does not yet have a finished design, but one has to start somewhere. The 60,000-seat arena would be built on land owned by the municipality. The surroundings of the stadium are to be much more modest than in the previous Byzantine Stadio della Roma project. In addition to the stadium, there will be a park, a shopping and sports centre and two pedestrians and bicycle bridges.
The brochure does not contain any information on geological and archaeological surveys, so the project timetable and cost analysis are not known. However, thanks to the fact that such a document exists, the bureaucratic machinery can be set in motion. Once the municipality accepts the project in its preliminary phase, it will be possible to move on to further, more specific procedures.
The plan is to build the facility near the Tiburtina station, on the metro line B. The aim is to ensure efficient access for fans and avoid the traffic jams that are the nightmare of a city with three million inhabitants. The Giallorossi authorities have already commissioned studies to ensure that any difficulties in connecting the stadium with the rest of the city are minimised. The arena itself is also intended to be multi-purpose, making the area vibrant beyond just match days.
The silence surrounding the plans for Roma's new stadium is significant. The club authorities have not held a press conference, no renderings have been shown and no commemorative photos have been taken. After the failure of the previous concept, this time everything is done quietly and behind closed doors. There were also no announcements, no declarations and no specifics given. Perhaps the lack of media buzz will ensure that this time the case will find a happy ending.
The just concluded season for AS Roma's footballers was a successful one. In Serie A they finished 6th, guaranteeing participation in the group stage of the Europa League. On May 25, they beat Feyenoord Rotterdam 1:0 in the Europa Conference League final. Match was played at Air Albania Stadium in Tirana with a capacity of 21,690 spectators.
For Wolves, it was their first European trophy since winning the 1961 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, considered the predecessor of the UEFA Cup. The final also had special significance for Roma coach Jose Mourinho, who now has every UEFA club competition trophy to his name. Feyenoord in their history have won the European Cup once in 1970 and the UEFA Cup twice (1974, 2002).