Pallotta, Gandini, Baldissoni update on the Stadio della Roma

John Solano

Roma president James Pallotta and directors Umberto Gandini and Mauro Baldissoni gave an update on the progress of the Stadio della Roma:

Umberto Gandini, Roma CEO: “It is one of the most important, if not the most important, projects in Southern Europe that you are going to see in the next few years. It is amazing. It is a huge investment and it is going to be a statement of this city – of the country – that cannot be missed. As usual in Italy, we work through a lot of problems and difficulties on the administrative and bureaucratic aspects, but the project is now going through the final stages of approval according to an existing and applied state law.”

“We commissioned the University of Sapienza Roma to conduct a study of the economic and financial impact of this project on Rome and the Roma area, and the numbers were staggering in terms of taxes, job creation and employment over a longer period of time. We are talking about a total private investment of approximately 1.6 billion Euros into an area which is underdeveloped, so it will be creating a new vision for the city as well. There is going to be an investment into natural business and real estate projects which have to be there otherwise the entire project cannot be sustainable. We are building an arena, a stadium for football and other events.”

“Look at what has happened to the clubs who have built a new stadium – Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London, the Allianz Arena of Bayern Munich, the Juventus Stadium in Turin – I will also include the two refurbishments of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City. These stadiums are always full, fans love the experience, they want to go there and they are part of a different show. This is going to be massively important for AS Roma for its future.”

Jim Pallotta, Roma President: “I think that we’ve had a few delays, maybe a little self-inflicted, but also with the change of mayors and what’s been happening in the city but we’re still hopeful that in March we should be getting approval. We’re ready to go. I’m a little frustrated that we don’t have shovels in the ground already. I’m actually frustrated that we didn’t have shovels in the ground when we first bought the team, but we know it takes a little time.”

“The plans for the stadium and the entertainment complex around it look incredible. Anybody who has seen them around the world has been pretty much blown away at what we’re trying to accomplish here.”

“I saw some comments recently with people saying, ‘Pallotta has disappeared.’ The last year, where I haven’t spent as much time as I’d like to have in Rome, a lot of it has been spent with architects, construction people, design people, financing people and on and on. What we are going to do for food and beverage? Who is going to be managing sales and what ticketing system we will be using? A lot of that is taking place in Boston. Some of it is in New York and some actually takes place in London, too. A lot of the people we are dealing with are in these neighborhoods. It is what it is. I miss Rome, but there’s not a lot I can do when the amount of time I’m spending on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis is not just on the stadium, but other positions that we’ve been trying to fill.”

Mauro Baldissoni, Roma General Manager: “We need to remind people that this is a huge, complex project. This is the biggest real estate development project in the city of Rome. We are talking about something very big that is important for the club, but also for the city as well. We started with the process to identify the land four years ago. Four years may seem like a long time, but it is not for a project like this one.”

“We’ve made a big step forward with the administrative authorisation process. We expect that it will be completed by March, and that will be great because it will allow us to start breaking ground and start the building phase. It’s a very complex project that requires a huge effort in dealing with all of the stakeholders and contractual parties involved.”

“A year ago, we were still working on the final project that was expected to be delivered to the city council after their requests of changes. We managed to complete and deliver the project to the city, and the city passed it to the Regione for the final phase of the approval. We are now in the last phase of the approval process, so we definitely are where we wanted to be. We really hope that we can complete the project according to the laws and regulations in time for March. At that point, we will really be in a new scenario, a new era.”

Match Center