Referendum requests knocked back for new Milan stadium

The Municipality of Milan has reportedly rejected calls for two separate referendums concerning the project to deliver a new stadium for Italian Serie A football clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan.

A preliminary ruling, according to Italian newspaper la Repubblica, has arrived ahead of a binding judgement that is expected by August 3. The Municipality is said to have decided that the two referendums arguing against the project do not have the required technical or accounting arguments to be admitted.

The first referendum request revolved around an effort to safeguard the existing Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in its current function, without building a new stadium in the San Siro neighbourhood of Milan, and to launch an international design competition for the redevelopment of the current venue and its surrounding area.

The second request concerned a demand for the council to cancel a resolution which in November deemed the construction of a new home for Milan and Inter to be in the public interest.

Among the arguments made to refuse the requests, it has reportedly been stated that the redevelopment of the Meazza would result in “problems of use during the works by the two teams”. It has also been judged that “the capacity of the stadium would be significantly reduced and would not guarantee the same performance as a new generation stadium”.

More details emerged last month about a potential new stadium for AC Milan in Sesto San Giovanni, a commune located to the north of Milan. The Corriere della Sera reported that renowned architect Sir Norman Foster had drawn up designs for a stadium that would serve as the sole home of Milan.

The venue, which the club would not share with cross-city rival Inter, would be located in the area formerly occupied by steelworks company Falck Group. In March, Milan and Inter said they “remain open to evaluating other design solutions” as they continued to encounter difficulties in progressing the project for a new shared stadium on the site of the current San Siro.

In December, Populous saw off competition from Manica/Sportium to land the contract to design the new stadium. Populous’ project, dubbed ‘The Cathedral’, was selected but little progress has been made since then, with the plans needing to be approved at various government levels.

Since that point, Sesto San Giovanni is said to have been identified as a ‘plan B’ alternative location for a new stadium.