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Revamp of Milan Olympic venue hit by legal challenge

The planned renovation of Milano Hockey Arena, which is scheduled to host events during the 2026 winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, has been put on hold due to a legal challenge from the nearby Institute of The Sisters of Reparation.

Italian newspaper Il Giorno reports that the Institute in April sought to prevent construction work on the venue by producing a writ of summons before the Court of Milan.

The Institute has argued that redevelopment work at the arena would interfere with operations at its site and cause noise pollution. A hearing has reportedly been set for October 4 and work on the arena must be paused in the meantime.

The news comes after Italian venue operator Forumnet was last month appointed to run the Milano Hockey Arena, which was formerly known as Palasharp. Forumnet also operates the 12,700-capacity Forum di Assago, which will host speed skating and figure skating during the 2026 Olympics.

Forumnet’s contract to run the Milano Hockey Arena will run for 31 years. The planned construction work at the arena will cost around €13.3m (£11.4m/$13.9m) and, once complete, will see the venue’s capacity drop from 10,000 to 8,200.

Forumnet was reportedly selected ahead of Ticketone and Mca Events to operate the Milano Hockey Arena, which will be one of two ice hockey venues during the 2026 Olympics.

The other will be the planned 15,000-capacity Palaitalia Santa Giulia, which will be operated by CTS Eventim and has been designed by British architect Sir David Chipperfield and his firm. Once opened in 2025, it will be Italy’s largest indoor venue.

Milan will be co-hosting the 2026 Games with the Cortina d’Ampezzo ski resort. In November, a new company was officially formed to deliver the infrastructure projects needed for the Games, with Italian officials admitting at the time that work needs to be advanced in order to make up for delays built up over recent years.

Milano Cortina 2026 highlighted the planned use of existing venues during its bid for the Games, which was selected ahead of a rival proposal from Stockholm-Åre during the IOC Session held in June 2019. Of the 14 competition venues spread across the four clusters in Milan, Cortina, Valtellina and Val di Fiemme, only one will be a permanent new arena.