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Study Details Economic Benefits of Planned New Roma Stadium

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ROME (AP) — Roma's planned new stadium would deliver nearly 20 billion euros ($21.7 billion) in additional revenues to the Italian capital over the next decade, according to a university study on the severely delayed project.

The privately financed 1.6 billion euro ($1.7 billion) project would also increase Rome's gross domestic product by 18.5 billion euros ($20 billion) by 2026, according to research by Rome's Sapienza University.

"This is one of the most ambitious urban regeneration works that Rome and Italy has ever seen," Giuseppe Ciccarone, Sapienza's dean of economics, said Monday.

However, the start of construction has been delayed for years with approval for the Serie A stadium, training center and surrounding business and entertainment park slowed at municipal and regional levels.

James Pallotta, Roma's American president, first presented the stadium plan in March 2014, saying then that it would be ready for the 2016-17 season.

The stadium site in Tor di Valle is about halfway between downtown and the Leonardo Da Vinci airport.

With a design inspired by the Colosseum, the stadium is slated to seat 52,500 and be expandable to 60,000 for major matches.

Roma currently shares the 72,000-seat Stadio Olimpico with city rival Lazio.

The 125-hectare (300-acre) area for the new stadium will also include a training ground for Roma, three high-rise office towers, plus parks and commercial and entertainment areas.

The study also said that the stadium project would reduce the average unemployment rate in Rome by nearly one full percentage point, with about 1,500 workers employed during the construction phase and a further 4,000 as parts of the project become operational.

Once fully operational, up to 20,000 people will be employed across the stadium and business park.

The new stadium had been included in Rome's bid for the 2024 Olympics but the candidacy was rejected in September by Mayor Virginia Raggi over cost concerns.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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