Venue management company ASM Global has approached Milan authorities with a proposal to manage and redevelop the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, it has emerged.
The revelations, which create fresh intrigue in the ongoing process to deliver a new stadium for Serie A football clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan, have been detailed today (Friday) by Italian broadcaster Mediaset, which has published a letter from Giuseppe Rizzello, general manager of ASM Global’s Italian division, to Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala.
In the letter, Rizzello, who spent close to seven years working for Inter as stadium safety and operations manager between October 1999 and July 2006, backed calls to retain the facility otherwise known as the San Siro.
He said: “In recent months I have witnessed various debates and occasions for public discussion regarding the fate of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in San Siro. In particular I was able to appreciate the attitude and spirit of those like Claudio Trotta, also on behalf of the ‘SìMeazza Committee’, who have tried to highlight the opportunity for the city of Milan to be able to modernise the historic stadium, therefore keeping it in operation.
“Claudio Trotta, with whom we have been working for years in his activity as a promoter of musical events and more, has also been quoted on several occasions for having formulated proposals for the protection and development of the Meazza, and we have been talking with him for some time of the possibilities that the San Siro structure can offer to broaden the social and popular enjoyment of sport and entertainment in general, present and future, but within a modern management method.”
Rizzello continued: “Given the latest developments in the San Siro situation, our company (ASM) is ready to discuss with you the search for a solution that will allow the structure not to be demolished, to modernise it and at the same time avoid direct management of the stadium by the Municipality of Milan.
“With our proposal, strengthened by our specific expertise at world level, we would therefore try to further enhance a stadium already famous in the world, and one of the symbols of industriousness, ingenuity and talents expressed, in almost a hundred years of history, sporting and cultural heritage of this now iconic place, in the city of Milan.”
Rizzello added that he would be available for a first meeting if Sala and the Municipality is open to his proposal. The latest developments come with public consultation now in full swing for Milan and Inter’s proposed new stadium project.
Public debate commenced on September 28 for 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 process is due to end on November 18, with the publication of the final report on the public debate.
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 last month showed 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 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 last month 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.
Following the ASM Global revelations, the SìMeazza Committee, which is fighting for the protection of the stadium, said it expects a response from Sala.
Spokesperson for the Committee, Luigi Corbani, told Mediaset: “The proposal made by Inter and Milan with the Sala agreement is not a European solution. No stadium has ever been demolished and then rebuilt in cohabitation between two clubs.
“Take the example of Turin where there are two stadiums. Juventus has privately built its stadium and today Torino plays in the municipal one. Cohabitation is anti-historical. Like the incredible idea of reducing the capacity of the San Siro stadium which, incidentally, this year has an average spectator attendance of more than 70,000.
“The purpose of a municipal administration should be to broaden popular participation and not reduce it. I would like to know if anyone has contacted UEFA to find out if, with the new capacity, finals of international events will still be assigned to Milan.”
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 (£1.14bn/$1.27bn), borne jointly by Milan and Inter, although this is likely to increase.
Following today’s reports, TheStadiumBusiness.com has approached ASM Global for further comment.