Giuseppe Sala, the Mayor of Milan, has announced that the opening ceremony of the 2026 winter Olympics will be held at the San Siro, with any demolition of the stadium set to take place after the conclusion of the Games.

Milan will co-host the winter Olympics alongside Cortina d’Ampezzo and Sala has insisted that the Games will begin at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, which is also known as San Siro.

The stadium is shared by Serie A football clubs Inter Milan and AC Milan. The clubs are planning to build a new 60,000-seat stadium on the site of the current venue, and AC Milan chairman Paolo Scaroni recently expressed hope that the project can begin by 2022.

Sala has now revealed that, following a meeting with representatives of the two clubs, the opening ceremony of the Olympics will be held at the current stadium “no matter the timing of when the new stadium will be built”. Sala said the San Siro will stage the opening ceremony as a tribute to the history of the stadium.

According to Sala, Inter and AC Milan have agreed to guidelines for building the new stadium. The Mayor has also called on the city council to “rapidly” move forward with the plans.

The two clubs presented plans for the future of the stadium back in January 2019, and in September that year it was announced that Populous and Manica/Sportium had been shortlisted to design the new venue.

In November last year, the two clubs were reported to have received the support of global finance groups JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs for the project. It came after the clubs had filed a feasibility study and new economic and financial plan with Milan’s authorities in which they sought to resolve concerns laid out by city chiefs regarding the revamp of San Siro.

In September, Populous opened a new office in Milan dedicated to projects in Italy, where it has been operational for 15 years. Populous will mastermind its major projects in Italy from the new base, including its proposed scheme for the ‘new San Siro’.

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