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Design & Development

AC Milan ‘signs first preliminary agreement’ for stadium in San Donato

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy

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

The Mayor of San Donato Milanese, Francesco Squeri, has confirmed talks have been held with AC Milan after the Serie A football club reportedly signed the first formal preliminary agreement to develop a new stadium in the comune.

The Il Cittadino newspaper said Milan has signed the agreement with Sportlifecity, a company that currently holds development rights for the targeted parcel of land in the San Francesco area of San Donato.

Sportlifecity, promoted by Cassinari&Partners, had envisioned the development of a €150m (£128.2m/$162.1m) sports complex on the 300,000 square metres of land, but its deal with Milan will reportedly see the package of urban planning permits secured for this site transferred to the club.

Commenting on the news, Squeri said: “The urban plan is known today as the ‘Sport Life City’ and provides for the creation of a functional mix of a total of 108,000 square metres and has a strong and preeminent sporting focus, expressed by the forecast of the construction of an arena for approximately 20,000 spectators. Such a project can already be implemented without further approvals. 

“In the past few weeks, the promoter of the Sport Life City project received the Municipal Administration’s request for availability to evaluate an alternative project which, without modifying the building quantities already envisaged for the area, provides for the construction of the stadium of AC Milan.

“The administration has therefore accepted the invitation to meet the managers of the sports club to find out the general merit of their project. The illustrated design hypothesis outlines the willingness on the part of the proposers to carry out an overall redevelopment of the area, making the sporting development at San Francesco a project of international value.

“The importance and relevance of what is proposed calls for a responsible commitment on my part, as Mayor, and on the whole administration. In particular, I am absolutely aware that the possible hypothesis of the project of a sports facility of the dimensions illustrated, has significant repercussions in terms of road and public transport infrastructures and of an environmental nature.”

Milan had last week reportedly locked on to San Donato Milanese 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.

San Donato, located around 10km southeast of Milan, is now in pole position owing to the fact it is said to be the location that presents the most functional and potentially fastest solution to the delivery of a stadium.

Specifically, 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.

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.