‘La Magica’ venue dreams still a mirage?

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AS Roma update October 2020 Image: L'industria di Architectura srl

The entire development to deliver a new stadium for Italian Serie A football club A.S. RomaStadio della Romahas been hanging fire. However, there is a fresh twist to the whole development – the company which owns the land on which the stadium is proposed to be built was sold.

Italian financial services company UniCredit recently approved the sale of the group of companies controlled by Italian businessman Luca Parnasi to CPI Property Group, a Luxembourg-headquartered commercial real estate firm owned by Czech billionaire Radovan Vitek.

A.S. Roma is an Italian professional football club based in Rome. Founded by a merger in 1927, Roma has participated in the top-tier of Italian football for all of their existence except for the 1951-52 seasons.

Eurnova – a construction firm had owned the land upon which the Stadio della Roma will be built in the Tor di Valle region in the southwest quadrant of Rome. Parnasi owned Eurnova.

Media reports stated that CPI will pay €250m (£225.3m/$294.2m) for Capital Dev, Parsitalia and Eurnova. The latter company owns the land in the Tor di Valle district of Rome, valued at around €50m, on which the Stadio della Roma and an associated business park is proposed to be built.

Stadio della Roma is the temporary name for Serie A team A.S. Roma’s planned stadium in the Tor di Valle neighborhood of Rome. A formal name for the stadium will be decided after naming rights are awarded, but it is still very uncertain over how long it will take to open the stadium.

The above development will make the task easier for the Municipality of Rome to officially greenlight the project. Nevertheless, the project complexities are still to end as A.S. Roma’s new American owners – The Friedkin Group – are said to be weighing up the pros and cons of alternative sites.

US billionaire Dan Friedkin in August struck a deal to purchase Roma. Friedkin, who is in the role of Chairman-cum-Chief Executive of The Friedkin Group, assumed ownership of the club from fellow American James Pallotta, who purchased Roma in 2012.

Roma currently shares the Stadio Olimpico (in Rome, Italy) with cross-City rival Lazio and Pallotta and has been cherishing a dream for a long time as regards the club moving into the proposed 52,500-seat Stadio della Roma. Back in March 2019, Pallotta had expressed his hope that the project would be completed by 2023 but work is progressing at a snail’s pace.

The project was first put forward in February 2012 but has got stuck in red tape, as well as a high-profile corruption scandal. The project was given the go-ahead by the City and the region’s four main governing bodies in December 2017 but still required further nod before work could finally begin.

Discussions have been going on for a long time to build a venue – but construction work on the same is yet to start.

There is total lack of clarity as regards the planned site for the stadium. Real estate mogul Vitek was supposed to buy the Tor di Valle property few months back but his plans back then hit the COVID-19 wall.

The above settlement has been reached after 13 months of negotiations. In the past two months, several meetings between the new owners of AS Roma – the Friedkin Group – and Vitek had taken place. As per media reports, it is a matter of agreeing on a concrete idea on the new home of the ‘La Magica’ and the entire area of Tor di Valle.

But, the whole picture is still so hazy that it forces one to think that would it require a waving of the magic wand for ‘La Magica’s’ venue dreams to get realized?

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