Italian Serie A football club Inter Milan is reportedly considering plans for its own stadium without cross-city rival AC Milan.
The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper has reported that Inter has identified an area of private land in Milan for a potential new home. The option is currently said to be considered a “Plan B” for Inter but it would become a priority if the project for a new shared stadium with Milan does not come to fruition.
The latest development comes after Gazzetta reported last week that Milan had elected to split from Inter and pursue its own stadium project. The report claimed that Milan, under its new US ownership group RedBird Capital Partners, is set to make a decisive move when it comes to the troubled Nuovo Stadio Milano project it has pursued with Inter.
The ongoing delays concerning the joint stadium project, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Inter’s ownership situation, is said to have led Milan down the new path. The new joint stadium would be built on the land occupied by the clubs’ current home, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (pictured), otherwise known as San Siro.
According to Gazzetta, Milan has identified three alternative sites for a potential new dedicated home without Inter. These are Sesto San Giovanni, a commune located to the north of Milan; San Donato, a commune southeast of Milan; and La Maura, an area closer to the Meazza which is currently home to equestrian and horse racing facilities.
The location of the site under consideration by Inter has not been revealed. Gazzetta has reported that Inter has grown frustrated at the behaviour of Gerry Cardinale, RedBird founder and managing partner, who is said to have been convinced of the need for a change in approach for Milan during his last visit to the Meazza, which saw the club defeat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in a match that generated record revenue of over €9.1m (£8m/$9.6m).
According to Gazzetta, Zhang has remained in touch with Gordon Singer, the son of Paul Singer, who previously owned Milan through US investment management group Elliott Management. On-site inspections on the piece of land where a dedicated Inter stadium could sit have already been carried out.
In August, RedBird formally concluded its takeover of Milan touting its “track record” in sports stadium developments, with Yankee Global Enterprises (YGE) coming in as a new minority owner.
The Municipality of Milan last month called on Milan and Inter to make key amendments to their new stadium proposal, along with exploring the potential for the Meazza to be granted protected status.
Following a public debate process that ran last year, some of the suggestions that were put forward, and that were voted on by the City Council in December, were officially incorporated. Milan and Inter have been asked to update their feasibility study to incorporate a number of requests.
These revolve around five key proposals. Firstly, that the capacity of the new stadium be increased from the currently proposed 60,000-65,000 to “70,000 seats as the optimal objective”. A major concern regarding the new stadium proposal has been how its smaller capacity, versus the circa 80,000 of the Meazza, would impact ticket prices. An increase has been proposed to ensure that the new venue offers at least the same percentage of affordable tickets as the Meazza currently does.
To ensure the implementation of further works of public purpose or of general interest, the Municipality has indicated among the priorities the identification of additional economic resources, so as to be able to allocate a share of at least €40m for regeneration projects to be implemented in the neighbouring districts.
The proposal has been called upon to increase the green area, so that it represents at least 50% of the total footprint, up from the current 18%, to “give priority to achieving carbon neutrality and minimising environmental impact”, and comply with the Air and Climate Plan of the Municipality.
The new stadium will also need to be moved further away from nearby residential buildings, with the provision of solutions to mitigate the noise impact.