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Design & Development

Inter ‘selects Assago’ as stadium Plan B

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy

Featured image credit: POAN68/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Inter Milan has chosen the town of Assago as its ‘Plan B’ site for a new stadium, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

The latest news on the saga surrounding the apparently stalled Nuovo Stadio Milano project, a joint venture between Inter and AC Milan, comes after the two Serie A football clubs held a meeting yesterday (Tuesday) with the Municipality of Milan and Mayor Giuseppe Sala.

Earlier this week, Gazzetta reported that Inter had identified an area of private land in Milan for a potential new home. The option was said to be considered a Plan B for Inter but would become a priority if the project for a new shared stadium with Milan does not come to fruition.

Following yesterday’s meeting, the newspaper has today reported that Assago, located southwest of Milan, represents Inter’s backup plan. Gazzetta said preliminary documents have already been signed for this alternative facility with the owners of a large private area of land not far from Mediolanum Forum, the home arena of Serie A basketball club Olimpia Milano.

Yesterday’s meeting is said to have seen Milan president Paolo Scaroni clarify that the club’s focus is now on building its own stadium at La Maura, an area close to the current Stadio Giuseppe Meazza which is currently home to equestrian and horse racing facilities.

La Maura was last week said to be one of three sites targeted by Milan for its own dedicated stadium, and the club will now have up to three weeks to decide if it will proceed with this plan or pivot back to the shared stadium solution with Inter.

Speaking to reporters after yesterday’s meeting, Inter CEO, Alessandro Antonello, said: “The main option remains the San Siro stadium with Milan, but Milan today officially communicated that there is formal interest in the La Maura racecourse area. 

“This will require a few weeks of analysis by Milan before we meet again and understand if that area will actually be the object of development or if we will proceed with the original project together with San Siro.

“Inter has always worked coherently and determinedly on this project. For us the main project remains the San Siro with Milan, but if Milan were to choose another area, Inter also has an alternative plan, as we’ve always said from the beginning.”

In August, RedBird Capital Partners 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.

RedBird’s takeover of Milan was initially announced in June, with the club changing hands between American owners. The deal with US investment management group Elliott Management valued the reigning Serie A champion at €1.2bn.

The Municipality of Milan in January 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 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.

Antonello yesterday maintained that Inter would not proceed with the original plan alone, should Milan decide to exit. He said: “San Siro alone? Absolutely not, the options are San Siro together with Milan, and if Milan decide to go to La Maura we have a Plan B which is not San Siro.

“Were we surprised by Milan’s decision? No, what surprises us is the fact that we were progressing with this project but it is clear that when there are changes of (club) ownership, visions can change. We accept their analysis but Inter are very clear on what the next steps are.”