Inspired by the historic Colosseum, AS Roma’s plans new stadium

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Italian Serie A club AS Roma has recently revealed its plans to build a new stadium inspired by the historic Colosseum. The new stadium, with a temporary name of Stadio della Roma, will be built in Rome’s Tor di Valle neighbourhood, about halfway between downtown and Fiumicino airport. A formal name for the stadium, planned to open by August 2016, will be decided after naming rights are awarded.

Seating capacity is planned for 52,500 spectators, with the ability to expand to 60,000 for larger events. The stadium is being designed by American architect Dan Meis. Features of the stadium include luxury boxes, and a 14,000-seat section designated for the Ultras of the Curva Sud in the Stadio Olimpico, the 72,698-seat facility Roma currently shares with their crosstown rival, SS Lazio.

The stadium would have several obvious advantages over the larger Stadio Olimpico. There would be no athletics track for one, and the sight lines will be ‘the best in the world’, AS Roma claims, because of the height and angle of the seating.

The official site for the stadium declares: “Our 52,500 seat modern Colosseum will be one the world’s most state-of-the-art football stadiums. With a focus on both intimacy and ‘home pitch advantage’, the design integrates one of international football’s most tightly organised seating bowls with world-class amenities and technology to rival the best new stadiums in all of professional sports.”

It goes on to state that the Colosseum-inspired design includes ‘ultra-modern steel and glass, wrapped in a floating 360-degree stone screen running around the rooftop’. Glass and teflon-coated fabric canopy will be used to protect the ‘the seating bowl from the elements’. The premium seating options will include ‘Suites, Loge Boxes, and Club sections – all with luxury amenities’.

Besides the main stadium, plans call for additional venues for music, entertainment, shopping, and training facilities, as well as bars, restaurants, and a Nike SuperStore. The stadium, only the second in Italy to be privately owned and financed, is estimated to cost €300 million, but the total cost for all the facilities and venues, including infrastructure improvement, is close to €1 billion.

Plans for a new stadium were first introduced in 2009 by former owner Rosella Sensi for a stadium to be named after Sensi’s father to be built in the Aurelia district of Rome; however apart from the announcement, no further development occurred.

When AS Roma was purchased by James Pallotta and his Boston-based Raptor Group in 2012, the expectation of a new stadium was part of their deal. A formal announcement of the stadium plans was made on March 26, 2014 and Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino stated his hopes that approval for the stadium will come within 90 days.

The stadium and its facilities will replace the current Tor di Valle Racecourse, which is served by the Tor di Valle train stop on the Rome–Lido railway. Plans additionally call for service on Rome’s Line B subway to be extended to the station, and on to Muratella, a train station on the FR1 railway that is across the river from the proposed development

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