Gladiators, ready!

Stadio OlimpicoThis is the Stadio Olimpico. The 72,000 seater stadium in Rome is home to S.S Lazio and A.S Roma, but not for much longer…

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Recently, and to much fanfare, A.S Roma declared that they would be building a new stadium, the Stadio della Roma. This new ground is scheduled to open for the start of the 2016/17 Serie A season and at a cost of almost £200 million it is set to be a world leader in design and innovation.

The 52,000 seater stadium (with a potential to be increased to 60,000) is designed with the history and culture of Rome at its heart. The famous Colosseum is the prime influence and the entire structure is to be built with this in mind.

“Stadio della Roma will proudly represent the city of Rome – a glorious mix of past, present and future in design and materials.”

Outside the Stadio della Roma

The exterior of the stadium is designed with a stone ‘scrim’, which is basically a stone screen that wraps around the structure to evoke images of the Colosseum.

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Both the ‘Plaza’ and the ‘Roma Village’ surround the ground with the aim of providing supporters and visitors with the ultimate match day experience. Bars, restaurants, shops and giant screens will provide pre-match entertainment but will also be open on non-matchdays. The giant screens will also double as outdoor cinemas and will show Roma away matches.

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The Roma experience does not end there. A full training facility is located right next to the ground and it is the vision for Roma to become part of their community by providing local people with the opportunity to be involved in the club.

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Inside the Stadio della Roma

Finally lets look at where the action happens and the interior of the stadium. The steep stands are designed so that every person in the ground can be close to the pitch and get an unparalleled view of each match. The traditional ‘Ultras’ have been given the 14,000 the ‘Curva Sud’. A separate stand that will house the Giallorossi’s most dedicated supporters and Roma believe that the Curva Sud “will be the heart and soul of the stadium.”

The feature that will definitely make this stadium unique is the way the players enter the pitch. A hydraulic lift will be installed to give the players the most dramatic of entrances at pitch side, mirroring the gladiators entrance into the Colosseum.

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It is difficult not to be impressed with Roma’s vision for the future of the club. It is quite fashionable nowadays to criticise new stadiums and ‘modern football’. We have seen identikit stadium designs spring up all over the world and it has alienated certain fans with the clubs they love. However this is different. At the very least it will get Roma out of their current ‘digs’ and away from having to share with their greatest rivals. It will also give the club a fresh start with a new home that their fans can be proud of. If they pull this off it will be an iconic stadium in world football for years to come.

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