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Manica-Sportium seeks to take the lead in Milan stadium race

Manica-Sportium has sought to take a decisive lead in the race to build Milan’s new football stadium through an article published in the leading Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

Manica-Sportium shared its vision for the stadium project, which will be a home for city giants AC Milan and Inter, as it seeks to edge ahead of the rival bid from Populous. It has been suggested in the Italian media that the joint bid and its ‘Rings of Milan’ concept has been less popular than the rival ‘Cathedral’ design from Populous, although a Gazzetta Dello Sport poll shows almost two thirds prefer the former.

In the article, the two architecture firms highlighted the bid’s sustainability targets and the wider project, describing it as “a futuristic project, but with a deep bond with the past.” The article has been published just days after a meeting between the two clubs and the Mayor of Milan concerning the specifics of the new stadium.

“The project is not limited to aiming at the creation of a beautiful and efficient sports facility but is outlined as a process of urban, sustainable regeneration, which involves the San Siro district and, with it, the entire city,” Manica-Sportium wrote.

“The ‘Rings of Milan’ project is the symbol of the union between the clubs, eternal rivals on the pitch but who have joined forces to preserve one of the city’s most loved traditions.

“We have imagined a new way of experiencing the stadium that will not only light up for special occasions but that can transform itself even when it will not host matches.

“The curvilinear forms of the architecture of the new facility and the continuity of the steps that embrace the playing field, handing down the glorious image of the San Siro stadium, interpret it in a new key that fully represents the vocation of welcome of our city. A futuristic project, but with a deep bond with the past.”

AC Milan chairman Paolo Scaroni recently stated he is hopeful that work on a new shared stadium for the club and cross-city rival Inter can begin by 2022. However, Giuseppe Sala, the Mayor of Milan, this week 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.

In November last year, Milan and Inter were reported to have received the support of global finance giants JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs for the shared stadium.

It came after the clubs 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.

It was reported at the time that the investment in the project, which will centre on a 60,000-capacity stadium, is expected to be $1.25bn (£920m/€1bn) split equally between the two clubs and the definitive go-ahead could arrive between October and November this year.