Milan giants claim ‘significant progress’ in new stadium vision

Italian Serie A football clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan have claimed “significant progress” has been made in their efforts to develop a new stadium while revamping the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza following their latest meeting with city authorities.

After the meeting held yesterday (Tuesday), Inter and Milan issued a joint statement in which they said one of the main sticking points behind the proposal has now been addressed. The volumetric index of the project site had raised concerns after the City of Milan took issue with the most recent proposal, which covered 180,000 square metres, up from the initially projected 165,000 square metres.

Local authorities had also reportedly held concerns over public interest terms of the project. However, the two clubs have now said an updated feasibility study will provide significant reductions in ancillary volumes compared to the initial proposal and the Meazza redevelopment project presented in April.

The revamp of the stadium better known as the San Siro is expected to cost around €74m (£66.8m/$83.6m) and is now planned to generate a maximum buildability index of 0.51 sqm/sqm, equal to 145,000 sqm of floor area.

Inter and Milan said: “The proposal was in line with the instructions of the City Council and board and ensures the technical and financial sustainability of a new international state-of-the-art stadium and sports district.

“The City of Milan, Inter Milan and AC Milan consider it fundamentally important, especially given the current climate, to start this project in Milan, which will generate between 3,000 and 3,500 jobs and improve a crucial urban area, becoming an extraordinary opportunity for the City of Milan and Italian football.”

More images of the project emerged earlier this month, following May’s announcement that the San Siro can be demolished after the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (MiBAC) ruled that the facility does not present any “cultural interest”.

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.

Certain parts of the San Siro will be retained as a historical symbol of the iconic venue. Earlier in May, AC Milan and Inter Milan unveiled fresh details on two proposals to create the new 60,000-seat stadium and sports and entertainment district.

In January, the clubs presented new plans for the future of the Meazza, outlining how the venue would be transformed into a destination for sports and entertainment events. The clubs had previously said they were prepared to work on alternative proposals for the San Siro but maintained their discomfort at retaining the stadium as a venue for professional sports if a new facility is developed.

The city council gave plans for a new stadium a “conditional yes” back in October, with assurances needed on regeneration plans for the San Siro before the proposal is given the all-clear. The development came after the two clubs announced in September that Populous and Manica/Sportium had been shortlisted to design a new stadium that they would share.

Shedding further light on their plans, Inter and Milan said yesterday: “The clubs outlined design developments keeping elements of the current Meazza stadium in the new district with a predominantly sporting and entertainment function for the benefit of citizens.

“This is an urban regeneration work, which can be used 365 days a year, dedicated to sporting activity – providing a hub for culture and innovation for new generations. The project will be at the cutting edge due to its environmental impact, inclusivity and sustainability, and will serve as a safe meeting place open to social and recreational activities in the neighbourhood.

“Many of the activities envisaged in the project (including a jogging track, a cycle track, an open-air gym, a skateboard park, a climbing wall, a zip line, and the sports museum) will be provided free-of-charge for visitors or will ensure services to citizens, residents and associations under agreements with the City of Milan. The agreement prioritises the area’s schools, cultural organisations and health facilities.

“These sports, recreational and cultural activities will be located outdoors and inside redeveloped spaces. A 220,000-square-metre pedestrian area will be open to the community and will include at least 106,000 square metres of green space (nearly double the current 56,000 square metres).”

The two clubs will now present the supplemented project’s feasibility study and new financial plan to finalise the declaration of public interest procedure. A decision on whether Populous (main image) or Manica/Sportium’s (secondary image) proposal is selected could reportedly be made next month or in August.

Images: Nuovo Stadio Milano