The collective sigh of relief and overall optimism of Roma fans following the announcement was universal. Finally, after decades of paying out to the city of Rome and the Comune for use of Stadio Olimpico, a sustainable financial situation in conjunction with stadium ownership is now within reach.
Roma’s chance to join the upper echelons of professional football is here. Optimism for the team in the Capitol city and the world has never been higher. Now granted, a new stadium is not by any means going to guarantee success for the giallorossi in the future. As every soccer fan knows the winds of success can change from month to month and year to year (except when you are Juventus). But again, what this new stadium does guarantee is that all the money made from within it relating to the team itself, will go back to help supporting the club.
Overall, it is not surprising that it took this long to get a project of this size off the ground. An original piece of Pallotta’s vision for the team under his ownership, the fact that ASRoma has gotten this far is entirely because of the work of that man and his team. SDR is a massive undertaking requiring billions in private investment. The new complex on which the stadium is built will definitely be active and lively venue on game days and for other events at the complex. Even the initial economic impact before the stadium opens will be huge for the surrounding areas as thousands of construction workers and contractors will be working there for years. The biggest factor however, will be can they keep construction going and the project moving forward without any stalls or work stoppages.
Rome is a vibrant city of politics. There are usually over 100 political parties in Italy at any given time. Rome being the capital means that the political spectrum of ideas present and outspoken is fully represented. Unfortunately, it is this high number of political parties that cause coalitions to need to be formed. Most of the time, these loose knit groupings of political allies are rocky at best and therefore susceptible to break ups. Even the private issues of one of its members spouses could cause the entire government of Italy to collapse. In the end, it is this instability that has led Italian politics to be so volatile since WWII.
Will this political turmoil and the sway of public opinion in Rome play a role in whether or not this project ever gets completed? It would be very shortsighted of the city to prevent someone, especially a foreigner with huge financial ties to the community, from investing this amount of money into the Roman and ultimately the Italian economy. If there are any fears I possess, they are: Now that the project has the green light, how many times will it change to yellow, or even to red? And in the end, will SDR ever find its way to completion as a fully functional, multi-faceted complex, or will it end up in pieces like the beloved Linea C?