Italian football team AS Roma is to build a new state-of-the-art stadium in Rome in time for the team's 2016-2017 season. The New Year’s announcement was made during the club's first annual winter training session in Florida where the Rome team beat local side Orlando City 5-0 in a friendly.
The new stadium will be located in the southwest Rome district of Tor di Valle and will have the capacity to accommodate between 55,000 and 60,000 fans. The facility will become the dedicated home for the Italian club which was founded in 1927 and which has shared Stadio Olimpico with city rivals Lazio since 1960.
The €200-million stadium, which will be privately financed, will be "world-class" and capable of "hosting a Champion's League final in the near future", according to AS Roma president Jim Pallotta who acquired the team in December 2011. Pallotta hopes that construction could begin as early as 2013 and has commissioned the California-based architect Dan Meis – currently working on the Los Angeles Football Stadium – to come up with designs for the Rome venue.
The stadium's construction is the latest global brand-enhancing and revenue-generating move taken by Italo-American Pallotta who wants AS Roma to be the "international soccer team of choice for a new generation of fans in the United States and abroad."
The club has recently become partners with Disney, with AS Roma merchandise soon being available for purchase at Disney stores across the US.
Meanwhile in Rome, fans will be pleased to hear that the well-known Totti mural in the Monti district has been restored after being vandalised last November.