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Volume 10 No. 22


Serie A club AS Roma and its U.S.-based President Jim Pallotta revealed plans to build a new stadium in Rome in time for the team's '16-17 season. The location for the new stadium will be in Tor di Valle, in the southwest part of the city. Roma’s new stadium will hold 55,000 to 60,000 Roma fans. Pallotta said, "Building a new stadium for AS Roma has always been our goal." The team has shared Stadio Olimpico with city rivals Lazio since '60. Newly-appointed AS Roma CEO Italo Zanzi said, "Rome is a city of special stadia, from the Coliseum to the Olympic Stadium. Today, we take the first substantial step toward a new home for AS Roma -- a stadium that will be second to none; a home not only for the team, but for our fans in Rome and from around the world" (AS Roma). REUTERS reported "such purpose-built modern facilities could help Italy in any future bid to host either a World Cup or European Championship." Public ownership of stadiums "is common in Italy but leaves clubs unable to modernise their facilities and make money from mega-stores and restaurants, as do the likes of ManU and Bayern Munich." Italy's aging stadiums have the second-lowest attendance among the "big five" European football leagues (REUTERS, 12/31). Architect Don Meis has been hired to design the stadium, "which is expected to cost between €165M-210M ($218M-277M)" (STADIUM GUIDE, 12/31).

The Qatar Hockey Federation will soon have a new "state-of-the-art stadium with a seating capacity of 5,000," according to N.D. Prashant of the GULF TIMES. The new venue for field hockey has been planned by the Qatar Olympic Committee in "close proximity to the cricket stadium." QHF General Secretary Abdul Nazer said, "Yes, the stadium should be ready by 2013-2014 and QR50M ($13M) have been allocated by the QOC. Since the Al Rayyan Stadium will undergo extension for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we have been allocated a plot at the industrial area." Consultant firm EHAF has been appointed for the project, and the blueprints of the new stadium are the "same as the one proposed for the Al Rayyan Stadium." QHF has also expressed its "willingness to host a U21 three-match Test series between India and Pakistan." The QHF is "also planning a league on the lines of Hockey India League called Arab Stars League." Nazer said, "International Hockey Federation CEO Kelly Fairweather was here in Doha during the Doha GOALS [Forum] and we discussed with him about it. We are looking at having two sponsored teams and two franchise teams. In each team, one-third of players will comprise stars from around the world, another third would be U23 players and remaining would be local players" (GULF TIMES, 12/31).