Prospective Roma Takeover Head Plans Stadium Move
March 29, 2011
Thomas DiBenedetto, the American businessman who is set to lead a takeover of Serie A soccer club AS Roma on Wednesday, March 30, has spoken of his goal of moving the Eternal City giant to a new stadium.
A group of American investors, head up by the Boston-based private equity tycoon, are expected to sign a contract to acquire the club tomorrow. DiBenedetto is a partner of New England Sports Ventures, which last year acquired English Premier League club Liverpool.
DiBenedetto said the first priority would be “to balance the books, to bring the club back into financial fair play given that we’re presently outside” before confirming that he would like to relocate the club from the Stadio Olimpico, which was built for the 1960 Olympics in the city.
He added: “We need a new and different stadium – an English-style stadium that motivates the players. Roma doesn’t have the adapted structure. Olimpico doesn’t do justice to the passion of the fans, the seats are too far from the pitch and the atmosphere is lost.”
As part of his long-term aspirations, DiBenedetto added that he wanted “a club that knows how to get the best out of new technology and communication and the social media, to reach every corner of the globe, which will enable us to sell our merchandising better and to increase our revenues to buy the best players.”
Italpetroli – the Sensi family holding company that owns Roma and was taken over by UniCredit last year – confirmed in December that it was considering a number of non-binding offers for the club.