The San Siro, home stadium of Italian Serie A football clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan, will operate with a reduced capacity during the 2019-20 season after local authorities moved to address concerns surrounding its structure.
The Corriere dello Sport newspaper said six sections of the stadium’s third tier will remain closed to the public this season, dropping capacity by 2,350 seats.
The San Siro is owned by the City of Milan and the decision was made by the Provincial Supervisory Commission. It will be implemented by the Municipality of Milan and M-I Stadio, a company jointly owned by Milan and Inter which manages the stadium.
Oscillations within the stadium’s structure were reported by fans at games last season, most noticeably the match between Inter and Atalanta on April 7. The movement was said to be most noticeable in the six sections closed off.
The Corriere said that while technicians inspecting the stadium deemed the movement to be normal and presenting no safety threat, the authorities have acted to avoid panic amongst fans occupying those areas of the stadium. The Municipality is said to be studying a structural measure to help mitigate the problem.
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 called the stadium home since it opened, while Inter started using the San Siro in 1947.
The two clubs last month revealed their vision for a new stadium that will seek to provide the Italian city with a “landmark of world class excellence”. The Serie A rivals confirmed their plans in a joint statement, having filed with the Municipality of Milan a Technical and Economic Feasibility Study for a new 60,000-seat 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 (£1.1bn/$1.33bn).
Image: Gilbert Sopakuwa