Design & Development

Report filed as public debate closes on Milan stadium

Featured image credit: Populous

The Municipality of Milan has been presented with a 64-page report on a proposed new stadium for Serie A football clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan that is the result of a public consultation that organisers state has been one of the most followed in Italian history.

Coordinator of the process, Andrea Pillon, today (Friday) unveiled his final report on the Stadio Milano project, following a debate process that opened on September 28. Pillon said, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport: “The participants presented doubts and observations, however there is a general sharing of two ideas: the San Siro area needs redevelopment; and Inter and Milan need a stadium of their own, in step with the times – be it new or renovated.

“When a public debate is organised, supporters of the so-called ‘zero-option’ usually abound. In this case it didn’t happen, it’s important to focus on this.”

Public debate commenced on the 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 whole process was previewed at a presentation, 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 in September 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, 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 that this plan had 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 debate process has also allowed the presentation and emergence of proposals connected to stakeholders who are seeking to ensure the Meazza remains. Venue management company ASM Global last week held an initial meeting with Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, regarding ongoing efforts to save the Meazza.

News of the meeting emerged after it was initially reported last month that ASM had approached Milan authorities with a proposal to manage and redevelop the venue. Meanwhile, Stefano Boeri, founder of Stefano Boeri Architetti, also used the debate process to present his ‘forest-stadium’ concept for the Meazza.

Commenting on the main areas of concern raised through the debate, Pillon said: “Citizens have exposed problems that they are already forced to face on a daily basis: roads, parking, noise and green areas. 

“According to most, it is essential that any transformation of the area foresees the intervention of a real public management, which guarantees the protection of a certain type of interest. It was useful to dust off old renovation proposals, even though the clubs don’t think it is possible to operate on the existing (Meazza) facility. 

“It will also be necessary to pay attention to the needs of street vendors and business owners near the stadium, who could be penalised by the opening of a new shopping centre near the structure.”

Another major concern regarding the new stadium proposal would be how its smaller capacity, versus the circa 80,000 of the Meazza, would impact on ticket prices. Pillon said: “With the reduction in the number of seats, most of the sectors will not be affected by a price increase. 

“During the meetings, it was explained to us that both the so-called popular tickets and the standard season tickets should have a price similar to the current ones.”

Looking forward, the Municipality will now assess Pillon’s report and produce its own within 60 days. Pillon added: “We have organised 14 meetings, which were attended by over 3,000 people, physically present and also remotely. 

“We aimed to involve all citizens, from the youngest to the oldest, of all genders and social backgrounds. We are happy to have succeeded, it was one of the most followed debates in Italy.”