Design & Development

MANICA ‘favoured’ for AC Milan stadium in San Donato

MANICA/Sportium’s original vision for the Nuovo Stadio Milano

Featured image credit: MANICA/Sportium

AC Milan has reportedly locked on to the San Donato Milanese comune as the site for its proposed new stadium, with MANICA Architecture said to be in the box seat to secure the contract to design the venue.

Gazzetta dello Sport has today (Friday) reported on the latest developments in the long-running saga, stating that San Donato, located around 10km southeast of Milan, is now in pole position owing to the fact it is the location that presents the most functional and potentially fastest solution to the delivery of a stadium.

Specifically, Area San Francesco is the site that has seemingly been identified by Milan chiefs, with the view that a stadium located there could act as a “gateway to Milan”, with strong exposure to those travelling into and out of the city.

Gazzetta said Milan has been assessing nine project proposals, which have been shortlisted to three whose feasibility and methodology reports have already been examined by club president Paolo Scaroni. The newspaper added that MANICA, along with Populous and Gensler are the three design teams in contention, with the former currently having the advantage.

In December 2021, Populous saw off competition from MANICA/Sportium to land the original 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.

However, the venture has since been mired in bureaucratic red-tape to the extent that both Milan and Inter, which was due to share the proposed new stadium with its arch rival, are now pursuing alternative plans.

It was reported last month that the two clubs are seemingly set to pursue separate stadium projects, following developments arising from a meeting that discussed the future of their current home, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

A meeting was said to have been held at Palazzo Marino, the home of the Municipality of Milan, between representatives of the two clubs, the “Referendum X San Siro” Committee and the Board of Trustees of the Municipality.

At the meeting, despite apparent pressure from Milan and Inter, the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape, a body chaired by Emanuela Carpani, is said to have confirmed that it will not lift protected status from the stadium that is better known as the San Siro.

This relates to the stadium’s second tier and towers, which were built in 1955 and under historical constraints related to public-owned property are due to be afforded protected status after 70 years, therefore in 2025.

This appears to end the possibility of the Meazza being demolished to make way for a new stadium, while the two clubs are believed to be adamant that they would not look to pursue a major renovation scheme in a similar vein to the projects currently being undertaken by Real Madrid and FC Barcelona for the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and Spotify Camp Nou, respectively.

In March, Milan confirmed Ippodromo Snai La Maura, an equestrian and horse racing facility located close to the Meazza, as its targeted site for a new stadium. It came after the club had set out its commitment to build the “most beautiful, modern and functional stadium in the world”, citing Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as an inspiration.

Milan has also reportedly appointed the CAA Icon agency to support its efforts to build a new stadium without Inter. News of the club’s intention to split from Inter and pursue its own stadium was first reported in February.

While the La Maura option has now floundered on the back of political and environmental opposition, San Donato is now the favoured choice, according to Gazzetta.