Populous is reportedly the favourite to land the contract to design the new stadium for Italian Serie A football clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan ahead of an announcement on the tender process scheduled for later this month.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera has made the claim today (Wednesday) as part of a report using guidelines issued to architecture studios interested in designing the future home of the Milanese rivals.

The Corriere said an announcement on the partner for the project could be made on September 23, with Populous said to be in the box seat having worked with the two clubs for months in an advisory capacity.

In July, Milan and Inter revealed their vision for a new stadium that will seek to provide the city with a “landmark of world class excellence”. The clubs confirmed their plans 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 they said would be privately financed at a cost of over €1.2bn (£1.07bn/$1.32bn).

The clubs said the proposal to the local institutions marked a 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 by the clubs consisted of a detailed technical and engineering study and did not include an architectural component.

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. Milan and Inter said 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 Corriere said demolition of the San Siro is earmarked to cost around €45m, with the development of the new stadium given a proposed maximum spending limit of €605m. The newspaper stated the design guidelines have a specific focus on flexibility to cater to the needs of Milan and Inter.

The new stadium must be able to easily transition between a capacity of 60,000 and 55,000, along with the capability of converting regular seating areas into premium seating depending on the type of event. A breakdown of seating needs based on the type of match is also provided.

The stadium will need 12,500 corporate seats for a derby match between the two clubs. This will drop to 10,300 for a game between Milan or Inter and another top-six Serie A team. For other matches, premium seating will fall to 8,000.

The shared stadium concept also entails the need for innovative architectural solutions. The stadium’s megastores will require a quick transformation depending on which club is playing a home game. Advanced technology is also called for to enable the rapid transformation of its branding to reflect the colours of either Milan or Inter.

The new stadium will also have to reflect the history of the San Siro in details such as the traditional location of the clubs’ most vocal fanbase – Inter’s at the north end of the stadium and Milan’s at the south.

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.

Image: Inter Milan