Milanese rivals outline €1.2bn stadium plan

AC Milan and Inter Milan have revealed their proposal for a new 60,000-seat stadium that will be the centrepiece of a €1.2bn ($1.35bn) mixed-use development and replace the Italian Serie A football clubs’ historic Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in the San Siro district of Milan.

The two rivals, which currently share the San Siro, have set out their plans following months of speculation regarding their stadium intentions. Milan and Inter have filed with the Municipality of Milan a Technical and Economic Feasibility Study for the new stadium and the development of a multi-functional district which the two clubs said would be privately financed at a cost of over €1.2bn.

Both clubs were long understood to have favoured the development of a new home rather than the redevelopment of the San Siro, which opened in 1926 and was redeveloped to its current capacity of around 80,000 for Italy’s staging of the 1990 Fifa World Cup.

The masterplan has been developed after Milan and Inter signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in November through which the two clubs have worked together on the stadium project. A joint taskforce was formed to assess all options, including a brand-new stadium or renovating the iconic San Siro.

In a joint statement, the clubs said their proposal marks the first official step on a “shared journey” together with the Municipality towards constructing a modern, sustainable and accessible urban district in the San Siro area, centred around a new world-class stadium. The documentation submitted does not yet include an architectural component, with the clubs intending to launch an international competition to find a design partner for the stadium.

The new stadium is intended to be built on land adjacent to the San Siro, which is owned by the City of Milan and leased to the clubs. The multi-functional district will be built in the area in which the San Siro currently stands, dedicated to sports, entertainment and shopping, creating jobs for over 3,500 people.

The Feasibility Study has been prepared in accordance with Italy’s so-called Stadium Law, which promotes the development of sporting infrastructure. All investments will be carried out by AC Milan and Inter Milan, who in exchange will receive a 90-year “surface right”. The clubs said this right is expected to be awarded through a public tender for which they, as promoters, will retain a right to match any offer received.

The joint statement read: “The choice of AC Milan and FC Internazionale is based on a careful and in-depth analysis, carried out over the last few months, of the different available options (including the restructuring of the current Meazza stadium). It is inspired by the best benchmarks of international stadia and entertainment districts (almost all made ex-novo) around the world, as well as by Italian culture and the unique character of the City of Milan.

“This analysis shows that the construction of a new building is from all perspectives the best possible solution, both for the clubs and for the city of Milan. It guarantees the best user experience, sustainability, adequate security, safety and accessibility standards, and honours Milan’s reputation for innovation and internationalisation.”

Outlining their stance against a redevelopment of the San Siro, the two clubs argued that its current structure presents a series of technical issues, of which the solution would have required a complete refurbishment, with “enormous execution risks”, possible cost overruns and unpredictable complications.

The clubs also cited organisational issues linked to the simultaneous management of football matches, longer construction timings, revenue loss connected to the temporary reduction of the available capacity to fewer than 45,000 seats, safety concerns and the need to hold home matches outside the city of Milan.

They added: “Both AC Milan and FC Internazionale are firmly convinced that this is the right path to follow and are thrilled and excited by the project which will give Milan a new landmark of world class excellence, contributing to the progress already made by the City of Milan over the last few years.”

The request made by the clubs to the public administration aims to secure a declaration of public interest from the Municipality of Milan. Only then will a definitive plan, including architectural elements, be pursued.

However, approval is not guaranteed with Milan’s Mayor, Giuseppe Sala, having repeatedly stated that he would like the San Siro to remain in place for the 2026 winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, and would favour redevelopment.

Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo last month defeated a rival joint bid from Stockholm-Åre to land the 2026 Games and the San Siro has been targeted to host the opening ceremony.