AC Milan and Inter Milan have presented new plans for the future of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, outlining how the venue better known as the San Siro would be transformed into a destination for amateur sports and entertainment events.
The move by the Italian Serie A football clubs comes after they last month said they were prepared to work on alternative proposals for the San Siro, while maintaining their discomfort at retaining the stadium as a venue for professional sporting events once a new facility is developed.
Plans for a new stadium were given a “conditional yes” from the city council in October, with assurances needed on regeneration plans for the San Siro before the proposal is given the all-clear. In September the two clubs announced that Populous and Manica/Sportium had been shortlisted to design a new 60,000-seat stadium that they would share.
The two clubs met with the Municipal Administration of Milan yesterday (Tuesday), with Populous and Manica/Sportium both reportedly putting forward their vision for the San Siro. In a joint statement, the clubs said: “These proposals, in compliance with the indications of the Municipal Administration and as agreed in the previous meeting, provide for a re-functioning of the Meazza mainly for basic sports and entertainment functions to make the San Siro district live 365 days a year, of service and benefit for citizens.
“The clubs will continue with the technical and economic study of the project proposals presented, always in line with the guidelines indicated by the Municipality.”
Milan and Inter had planned on building their new stadium and entertainment complex on the site on which the San Siro currently sits but local authorities are keen that the current stadium should not be demolished.
Indeed, Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala has maintained that he would like the San Siro to remain in place for the city’s staging of the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in June defeated a rival joint bid from Stockholm-Åre to land the 2026 Games and the San Siro has been pinpointed to host the opening ceremony.
Broadcaster Sky Italia said the new proposals will see the San Siro redeveloped, while keeping some of its iconic architectural structures in place. It added the new-look San Siro could include five-a-side football pitches, basketball courts and an athletics track.
The il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper added that the plans seek to meet the key request from city hall that the transformation of the San Siro minimises the environmental impact through creating a “citadel” of sports and ‘car free’ services, connecting the neighbourhood through green corridors to the large areas located to the west. Work will now continue on the proposals, with the next meeting reportedly set to take place in around 10 days.
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