Roma boosted by stadium progress
Roma's plans to build a new stadium have moved a step closer after president James Pallotta met with the mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino on Monday.
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The pair discussed plans "over a coffee" with both parties emerging from their meeting in optimistic mood. Roma are looking to start work on the project as soon as possible to enable them to become the second Serie A club after Juventus to build their own new stadium.
"We've spoken with Marino about the stadium over a coffee," Pallotta said after emerging from the talks. "We're heading in the right direction, but there's still lots of work to be done. We're all optimistic. It's an extremely exciting project."
Roma have already drawn up plans for a stadium of up to 60,000 seats in the Tor di Valle district of the Eternal City. With Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta vowing to push through new legislation in 2014 aimed at easing the bureaucratic process of building new arenas, work could commence within a year if overall agreement can be reached.
"It would be an extraordinarily well-organised venue," said Marino. "James Pallotta's architects and our urban regeneration and quality of life advisors are all working on it and we should reach a decision in the coming months as to whether the stadium can be built."
The stadium would be built close to the banks of the River Tevere in the south west of the city, close to the motorway which links Rome with its main Fiumicino airport. Therefore, consideration is also being given to the transport infrastructure and coping with the influx of supporters to a venue located just within the heavily-congested outer ring road.
Once that obstacle has been overcome, precise plans for the stadium can be unveiled for Roma's intended future home, allowing them to move out of the Italian Olympic Committee-owned Stadio Olimpico, which they share with city rivals Lazio.
"It will be the best stadium in the world," said the project manager Luca Parnasi. "The actual project will be presented very soon."