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Design & Development

AC Milan sets out stall on new stadium

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy

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

AC Milan has set out its commitment to build the “most beautiful, modern and functional stadium in the world”, citing Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as an inspiration and the need to close the gap to the likes of the English Premier League in the matchday revenue stakes.

Milan’s lengthy statement on the matter, reported by multiple Italian media outlets, comes amid significant developments in recent weeks over the intended Nuovo Stadio Milano project it had been engaged in with Serie A rival Inter Milan.

Milan last week reportedly appointed the CAA Icon agency to support its efforts as it considers building a new stadium without its cross-city rival. CAA Icon will assist Milan as the club gauges fan opinion on a new stadium, with the two parties having launched a survey to better understand fans’ match-day habits and preferences.

Last month, it was reported that Milan, under its new US ownership group RedBird Capital Partners, had elected to split from Inter and pursue its own stadium project. The two clubs have been working on the joint Nuovo Stadio Milan project, but ongoing delays concerning this venture have prompted both to reassess their options.

The new joint stadium is intended to be built on the same plot of land occupied by the two clubs’ current home, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, more commonly known as the San Siro. However, Milan’s focus is now said to be on building its own stadium at La Maura, an area close to the Meazza which is currently home to equestrian and horse racing facilities.

In recent days local opposition to such a proposal has emerged, with Milan yesterday (Tuesday) choosing to set out its stall. Under the heading of “new stadiums: an opportunity that Italy is losing”, Milan states that in the decade spanning 2010 to 2020, 153 new stadiums were built in Europe, with an investment of €19.8bn (£17.64bn/$20.88bn). Italy is said to have participated in only 1% of this investment in Europe, with only 9% of Italian professional football stadiums not publicly owned.

The statement continues to state that in the 2021-22 season, the top 20 revenue generating clubs in the world recorded an average of €68m in stadium revenue. Five clubs surpassed the €100m mark, including Tottenham Hotspur (€125m), while Milan remained at €32m.

In the 2017-18 season, Serie A is said to have earned only €177m in matchday revenue. The Premier League, on the other hand, recorded €603m. Considering the average revenue per seat, Serie A earned €591.40 against €1,310.50 for the Premier League.

Milan said: “The data is closely related to the characteristics of Italian stadiums, which are largely uncomfortable, dilapidated and lacking in basic services, and to the impossibility of offering adequate corporate hospitality spaces and services, as well as an adequate offer of premium seats.”

Addressing the impact of a new stadium on neighbouring properties, Milan again turned to the example of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The club’s statement said the price of properties on the site of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium increased by 12.1% from 2015 to 2016, when construction began. Between 2014 and 2019, the value of property sales neighbouring Tottenham Hotspur Stadium are said to have increased by 56%.

Milan’s statement continued: “Having a new stadium is essential for the future of the club, to return to the elite of world football with continuity. The club wants to build the most beautiful, modern and functional stadium in the world, inserting it within an eco-sustainable urban regeneration project of which all citizens of Milan will be able to benefit. 

“RedBird intends to offer fans an experience worthy of the club’s history and calibre, making sure that Milan has a home worthy of its status and in step with the times. The ambition is to create a global icon for the club and for the city of Milan with the new stadium. 

“The new stadium will be a benchmark for innovation and sustainability. We want to build a facility inserted in a large green area, which guarantees carbon neutrality and is LEED certified thanks to the use of the most innovative materials and cutting-edge technologies in terms of use of water and electricity, as well as acoustic containment. The stadium will guarantee unprecedented accessibility and experience, offering maximum safety and comfort, as well as a range of new services to the public. 

“The club has demonstrated in the last four years (the first project was presented to the Municipality of Milan in July 2019) that the construction of a new and modern stadium is one of its priorities. RedBird has extensive experience in this field, having (helped) build AT&T Stadium for the Dallas Cowboys ($1.2bn) and Yankee Stadium for the New York Yankees ($2.3bn), among others.”

Paolo Scaroni, president of AC Milan, added, according to the Sport Mediaset website: “The experience that can be enjoyed in an innovative stadium such as Tottenham’s, as in many stadiums in the United States, allows us to understand the potential and opportunities that a modern facility can offer a city, a world-class club and all its fans. 

“We need to speed up the project for a new stadium, which is a fundamental element in our growth process, essential for being able to compete at an international level. The old San Siro is full of memories, but we feel the responsibility to look to the future of our club, to create new successes and unforgettable experiences to all our fans.”