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Design & Development

Nuovo Stadio Milano debates to commence, San Siro plans dropped

Featured image: The revised look of Nuovo Stadio Milano

Featured image: The revised look of Nuovo Stadio Milano

Public debate is set to commence today (Wednesday) on the Nuovo Stadio Milano project, with a fresh look provided at the design proposals and original plans to retain some part of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza being scrapped.

The debate process will commence from 5pm to 8pm local time today, with the presentation of the stadium portion of the project dossier. In total there will be five public meetings and five “in-depth meetings” aimed at putting forward the vision of Serie A football clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan, and subsequently receiving feedback on the scheme.

The process will end on November 18, with the publication of the final report on the public debate. The whole process was previewed at a presentation yesterday, during which fresh renderings were revealed that displayed some differences from the original plans.

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.

Bureaucratic red tape has stymied progress since then, but the plans laid out yesterday show the angular stylings originally proposed for the new 60,000-seat stadium having been somewhat smoothed off. These changes are still provisional, however, and are expected to be altered further.

The Meazza, more commonly known as the San Siro, had been expected to be partially demolished after holding the opening ceremony of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games and converted as part of the wider sports and entertainment district vision for the site.

However, it was revealed yesterday that this plan has changed with the Meazza now set to be demolished completely when Milan and Inter move into their new home in 2027, in order to better accommodate the sports and entertainment district, which will include a public park.

The Nuovo Stadio Milano vision, as set out in December

“There are still those who ask to restore the Meazza,” said Milan president Paolo Scaroni, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. “But how could we use it over the years during the works? The renovations of many stadiums around the world took place when teams moved for crucial periods. This hypothesis is impossible.”

Alessandro Antonello, CEO of Inter, added: “The historical memory for us is to be still at San Siro, to remain a ‘trait d’union’ between the past and future. The old Meazza will no longer be seen for a reason. This is necessary, and reducing building volumes led us to this decision.”

Yesterday’s presentation was setup after the Municipality of Milan last week approved the start of public debate on Milan and Inter’s proposal to develop a new stadium and associated mixed-use development, with further details emerging on the financing of the scheme and its timeline.

The Municipality earlier approved changes to the project put forward by the clubs. These updates centred on three key amendments requested by the Municipality in November.

These concerned an adjustment of the site plan to reduce the size of the project footprint, reconfiguration of the area on which where the Giuseppe Meazza currently stands as a sports district with the enhancement and increase of greenery, and updating the project’s economic and financial plan.

Amid frustration over a lack of progress, Sesto San Giovanni, a commune located to the north of Milan, is said to have been identified as a ‘plan B’ alternative location for the new stadium. In March, the two clubs said they “remain open to evaluating other design solutions” as they continued to encounter difficulties in progressing the venture.

Speaking yesterday, Scaroni said: “(Milan’s) new owner (RedBird Capital Partners) is even more convinced than the previous one that Milan needs a stadium of its own. We believe in the San Siro project, but we and Inter are also looking elsewhere. We are totally open to other solutions. Maybe they have a plus compared to San Siro.”

The construction of the new stadium, and the wider mixed-use district, is expected to take eight years, from 2023 to 2030. The first phase, intended to last for 1,400 days, will focus on the development of the new stadium. The second, lasting 1,000 days, will see the demolition of the Meazza and the creation of the final parts of the project. The overall cost of the project is currently projected to be around €1.3bn (£1.16bn/$1.24bn), borne jointly by Milan and Inter, although Scaroni yesterday conceded that this is likely to increase.