Milan and Inter ‘open’ to other options amid new stadium deadlock

AC Milan and Inter Milan have said they “remain open to evaluating other design solutions” as the two Italian Serie A football clubs continue to encounter difficulties in progressing their new stadium project.

Populous in December saw off competition from Manica/Sportium to land the contract to design the new stadium. Populous’ project, dubbed ‘The Cathedral’, was selected, with the coming weeks having promised the finalisation of the objectives and development process of Milan’s new stadium.

However, little progress has been made since then, with the project mired in bureaucratic red tape. Reports last month stated that Milan and Inter were considering three alternative options for a new stadium amid the delays.

The stadium project has returned to the news agenda this week, with Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that the clubs are assessing alternative sites for the venture. One of those sites is said to be Sesto San Giovanni, with Mayor Roberto Di Stefano later confirming that the commune, located to the north of Milan, would be available as a location for the stadium.

In response to the latest reports, the two clubs yesterday (Tuesday) issued a statement to Italian news agency ANSA, outlining their latest stance on the matter. The statement read: “With regard to the project of the new stadium for Milan, FC Internazionale and AC Milan specify that they are continuing a constructive dialogue with the Municipal Administration, according to the provisions of the procedural procedure, with the preparation of a planning dossier functional for the start of the public debate, in order to speed up the process to build the new San Siro, within a broader masterplan that includes a redeveloped area dedicated to sport and entertainment.

“For both clubs, therefore, it remains an absolute priority to equip themselves with a new stadium, having certainty about the timing of the authorisation process, while remaining open to evaluating other design solutions, should the conditions not exist to be able to build the new San Siro stadium as hypothesised.”

Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan, earlier responded to Gazzetta’s report referencing a recent document supplied by the clubs concerning their preparations for a public debate on the project. In an Instagram post, Sala said: “As you can see from the image, the teams confirmed to me a week ago that they are preparing the dossier for public debate. A week ago, not six months ago.

“And from the reception of this letter nothing more happens. The Gazzetta dello Sport comes out with this scoop on the intention of Inter and Milan to build the new stadium elsewhere. Either the Gazzetta is just looking for a ‘story’, or the teams tell me one thing (or rather they write it) and give others a different version.

“Having an official document in my hands, I want to think more about the first hypothesis. In any case, however, I would like to tell everyone that in this difficult historical moment the Municipal Administration also has much more to think about.”