In March, AS Roma unveiled plans to build a 52,500-capacity stadium that would make them only the second Serie A club to play in their own arena.
Roma said the new stadium, Stadio della Roma, will be a central part of the strategy for the club’s future and its “re-emergence as a force in international football”. It will offer a variety of venues for music and entertainment, giving the club the chance to earn extra income.
Roma’s Italian American president James Pallotta told the NY Times in March: “The stadium is a very important piece for us. With the stadium there and if we do what our plans say we’re going to do, I believe we can be one of the top three clubs in the world. That’s the goal — I’m not afraid to say it.”
European clubs such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid have been pushing for a more global presence by playing games in Australia, Asia and the United States.
Pallotta aspires to those same global ambitions, that’s why Roma are touring the US for the third consecutive season.
Prior to the start of last season, not many footballing experts thought of Roma as challengers to the Serie A title.
But Pallotta hired Rudi Garcia, who had previously coached Lille in Ligue 1, in June 2013 and the new boss enjoyed a wonderful start to his career as his Italian side won its first ten consecutive games (a Serie A record).
Though Roma would stay on or near the top of the Italian league for most of the season, it eventually succumbed to Serie A giants, Juventus.
But i Giallorossi, its manager and their American owners have huge aspirations for the club in the very near future.
Garcia’s goal upon his hiring was to get Roma back into European competition. He accomplished that in one year as the Italian side finished second place in Serie A, earning automatic qualification to this season’s Champions League.
The new boss brought an aggressive, attacking style to Roma and the players have absorbed his philosophy like a sponge.
Everything is in place for AS Roma to be one of the top clubs in Europe and the final piece may be the construction of Stadio della Roma.
The stadium is due to be complete in time for the 2016/17 season.
The design, which was the mastermind of the architectural practice Woods Bago, intends to invoke the Colosseum of ancient Rome, but will also add modernized touches like a hydraulic lift that will allow players a dramatic entrance, in a similar fashion to the gladiatorial lifts which were once used in the Colosseum.
Stadio della Roma will be only the second Serie A club-owned stadium in Italy; the other being Juventus Stadium.
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