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Inter CEO proposes smaller capacity for San Siro

Alessandro Antonello, chief executive of Inter Milan, has suggested a reduction in capacity for the San Siro stadium, which the club shares with cross-city rival AC Milan.

In November, the two clubs signed a Memorandum of Understanding through which they would work together on a stadium project. The clubs said a joint taskforce had been established to analyse all options, including a brand-new stadium or renovation of the iconic San Siro, which has a capacity of 80,000.

The San Siro first opened in 1926 and has undergone several renovations, most notably for Italy’s staging of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. AC Milan has played at the stadium since it opened, with Inter having used it since 1947.

Last July, the Milan city council said San Siro would undergo a major renovation project costing approximately €15m (£13.1m/$17m) over the next few years. The council added that all of the work should be completed by June 2020, with the renovated stadium to be ready in time for the 2020-21 season.

Antonello has this week been discussing the need to renovate the stadium and has raised the possibility of reducing its capacity while enhancing the match-day experience for supporters.

“Managing the stadium means almost managing a Champions League final every week,” Antonello said, according to the Football Italia website.

“There are architectural limitations. We want a quality project and are involved with top-level advisors. We’ve presented ideas and we have to develop the project.

“We envisage a smaller capacity because the average attendance of the two clubs is 60,000. What matters is the experience for the fans, it might be a smaller stadium but an excellent one. The challenge for the clubs is to attract the fans to go to the stadium and stay there, to spend the day.”

Image: Jose Luis Hidalgo R.