A modern Colosseum: Roma reveals new stadium plan

ROME (AP) Three-time Serie A champion Roma plans to build a privately financed stadium inspired by the Colosseum on the outskirts of the Italian capital.

Labeled Stadio della Roma until naming rights are sold, the facility would seat 52,500 spectators and be able to expand to 60,000 for major matches.

Building costs for the stadium are estimated at 300 million euros ($414 million), with the overall price higher when infrastructure and transport are included.

The stadium would be in the Tor di Valle area in the city’s southwest, about halfway between downtown and Fiumicino airport.

Roma hopes to open the venue for the 2016-17 season. The club is owned by a four-man group of Boston executives, who in 2011 became the first foreign majority owners of a Serie A club.

Roma for years has shared the Stadio Olimpico with city rival Lazio, but that stadium features a running track and poor soccer sightlines.

”The Stadio Olimpico has been a great place for us to play, but it has clearly had its time,” Roma president James Pallotta said Wednesday.

Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino sat next to Pallotta at the City Hall presentation and supported the project, although he warned the stadium would not open until the necessary infrastructure was in place.

”Hopefully we will have an expedited process and a two-year construction plan,” Pallotta said.

The stadium is designed by American architect Dan Meis, who has drawn up the plans for numerous stadiums and arenas in the United States, plus the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

”It’s impossible designing a building here without considering the architectural history in Rome,” Meis said. ”The stadium will have an outer wall that will be a new vision of the Colosseum.”

There would be a three-tiered seating design with a sharp incline, and a 14,000-seat detached section behind one of the goals for the hard-core fans, replacing Olimpico’s Cruva Sud.

There also would be luxury boxes and commercial areas, plus training facilities outside the stadium.

Roma would become only the second major Italian club to own its own stadium. Juventus, which is closing in on its third successive title, opened Juventus Stadium in 2011.

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