Rome's Urban Planning Chief Quits in Stadium Dispute
The city councilor responsible for Rome's urban planning has resigned following a difference of opinions with Rome's mayor, Virginia Raggi, over the construction of a new stadium for Rome's professional soccer team, AS Roma. The new stadium was proposed to be located on the outskirts of the city with a large commercial office component. As reported in Business Insider(via Reuters), Berdini had sought a reduction in the commercial portion of the project to make it more feasible.
Berdini had opposed the initial project and called on the Serie A soccer team to scale it back dramatically.
"While the suburbs are falling into endless decay ... the only concern seems to be the Roma Stadium," he said in a statement, adding that the 5-Star municipal government had promised to bring transparency to town planning.
Others have expressed concerns about spending public funds on the stadium complex. The Italian Insider also reports that the project costs could rise to 1.5 billion euros, and questions remain over the stadium's necessity given that it was at one time envisioned as a piece of Rome's bid for the 2024 Olympic games. Rome has since dropped out of contention.