A.S. Roma has received approval to proceed with the construction of a long-delayed new stadium (Stadio della Roma) and entertainment complex, in the Italian capital; in the wake of the Italian National Team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Plans for the facility, first presented in ‘14 with the intention of opening for the ’16-’17 season, have been consistently delayed by environmental concerns and the public funding ($230 million+) required to complete $2 billion project; but, with the Italian government pushing for approval and a reduction in project’s scope (they won’t be building 3 proposed office towers), Roma finally received the go-ahead Tuesday. It is expected that the club will break ground on the new stadium next Spring.
Howie Long-Short: Jim Palotta, a co-owner of the Boston Celtics, is the Chairman and majority owner of A.S. Roma; but 22% of the franchise is publicly traded on the Borsa Italiana, the Italian stock exchange, under the symbol BIT: ASR. Forbes listed Roma as it’s 17th most valuable soccer club in the world (+12% YOY to $569 million) in 2017, despite the club losing $21 million on $242 million in revenue. The Atlanta Braves saw a 70% YOY increase in revenue, following their move in to SunTrust park. Pallotta has said that he expects Stadio della Roma to increase team revenues by more than 100%.
Fan Marino: Roma currently plays within a 72,000-seat stadium that it shares with rival Lazio; an outdated facility (opened in 1937) with a track that surrounds the field, placing the fans far from the action. The proposed facility, with a design inspired by the Roman Coliseum, will be an intimate 52,500 seat venue (that can increase to 60,000). As for the club, they won their Champion’s League Group on Tuesday (Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are potential 2nd round opponents), are trying to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since ’08-‘09 and currently sit 4th in the Serie A standings; Inter Milan is in 1st place and 5 points ahead.
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