Roma presently caught between the old Olimpico, new Stadio Della Roma

Tuesday is a big day, not just for Roma's season, but for seasons to come. While Fiorentina's visit to the Stadio Olimpico is crucial for the Giallorossi's attempts to qualify for the Champions League and Serie A leaders Juventus as untouchable as ever, the result of events during the day -- two big meetings with local and national authorities -- will go a long way to shaping Roma's medium- to long-term future.

It's a tale of two stadiums. There's the old, unloved Stadio Olimpico, set to host Roma and Fiorentina in front of a spartan crowd on Tuesday, and the modern, shiny and as yet unbuilt Stadio Della Roma, a gleaming €1.7 billion citadel designed to bring Roma into the 21st century and give them the financial muscle to compete on a level playing field with Juve. As the capital's local authorities flimflam over planning approval for the new stadium complex and hard-core fans continue to boycott the old, Romanisti can see two impasses on the verge of breaking.

Fans in the Curva Sud have stopped going to home games ever since barriers were installed down the middle of their home at the behest of Rome's former Prefect (director of civil protection) Franco Gabrielli in August 2015. After years of draconian security measures like fines for not sitting in your allocated seat and banning orders dished out by police rather than the courts, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. What used to be the pulsating heart of one of Europe's most atmospheric grounds vanished, and despite Roma's 100 percent home record, the rest of the crowd is drifting away with it.

The average attendance for Roma matches at the Olimpico this season is just 28,415 -- down from around 40,000 two seasons ago -- meaning that the team that, at the start of the weekend was second in Serie A and four points from the top, plays in a stadium that is on average 61 percent empty. The only two teams with worse filling ratios were Chievo Verona, who's average attendance of 12,042 is nonetheless decent for such a tiny club from a small city, and Lazio, whose fans are also boycotting home matches despite their own team's fine season and at 17,717 are occupying just 24 percent of the Olimpico.

The boycott has turned out to be something of a success. On Tuesday, both Roma's general director Mauro Baldissoni and Lazio president Claudio Lotito will be meeting the minister of sport Luca Lotti and minister of the interior Marco Minniti, as well as Rome's current Prefect Paola Basilone. Lotti wants the barriers gone, regardless of the National Association of State Police's outrage that such thing could be considered both so close to the 10-year anniversary of police offer Filippo Raciti's death during fights before 2007 Catania-Palermo derby and given the drop in violent incidents.

With three Rome derbies coming up in March and April, bringing down the barriers now would be a gamble for the authorities and a test of the largely good behaviour shown by Roma's ultras on the road, should they respond by coming back to home games.

Meanwhile, ahead of Tuesday's other meeting, this one with Rome's beleaguered city council leaders about the new stadium, the club has clearly decided to put pressure on the local authorities. Run by the populist Five Star Movement since June, the city has been dilly-dallying throughout what should be the final Conferenza Dei Servizi approval process for the new stadium complex (the council is split between those who consider the connected business park property speculation and want it shut down, despite the €440m of private money paying for the linked public infrastructure improvements, and those who simply want to chop back the square footage) and at the last minute asked the Lazio Region for and obtained a 30-day extension to the approval deadline, moving the final date to March 3.

Two days later it looked like the city had definitively torpedoed the project with an official "unfavourable" ruling, that after a closer look at the documents was actually "favourable" with provisions. Then on Sunday the normally serious Roma coach Luciano Spalletti pops up on TV interrupting Sky Sport reporter Angelo Mangiante during one of his regular bulletins from Trigoria to throw his weight behind the project with the catchy and conveniently Roman dialect phrase "famo 'sto stadio" (let's build this stadium).

Soon after the #FamoStoStadio hashtag was born, with Roma's players hitting social media to promote it by sheepishly holding up a piece of paper. Francesco Totti ("we want our modern Colosseum") obtained a vague, non-comittal response from mayor Virginia Raggi, but city council president Marcello De Vito tweeted more encouragingly that Er Capitano was not to worry, "we'll build the stadium and we'll built it well." But with less than a month to go until the end of the approval process, will those encouraging words translate into action, or will Italy's notorious bureaucracy and political infighting claim another costly victim?