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Design & Development

Milan clubs set to depart city as ‘new San Siro’ plans officially end

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy

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

Plans for the construction of a “new San Siro” have officially been ended after a regional body in Lombardy ruled the long-time home of AC Milan and Internazionale cannot be demolished.

The two Serie A giants must now further plans for new arenas in a different location after the decision by the Lombardy Regional Commission for Cultural Heritage, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

The commission, agreeing with a previous decision by the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape, ruled that the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza’s second tier assumes protected status in 2025 when it will have been in situ for 70 years. Under historic monuments and cultural icon rules it would be illegal to knock down the existing structure, meaning plans to build a new stadium on the site cannot now proceed. Both clubs have already stated that it would not be possible to “adapt the existing facility to current regulatory requirements”.

City of Milan officials had opposed the decision as they feared it would mean the two Serie A clubs would be forced to abandon the city to build new stadiums. The local authority, which owns the stadium, will also be liable for maintenance and running costs once the two teams have departed.

Inter and AC Milan have shared the San Siro since 1926, and the venue has been repeatedly renovated over the years. Both clubs had been working on a joint Nuovo Stadio Milan project, but ongoing delays concerning this venture prompted both to reassess their options. The new joint stadium was intended to be built on the same plot of land occupied by the two clubs’ current home. However, following a meeting in May, it appears increasingly likely that the clubs will pursue their own projects.

Last month, AC Milan strengthened its focus on the commune of San Donato Milanese – some 10km southeast of the city – as a home for a potential new stadium by acquiring a majority stake in the company which owns the land being targeted, according to multiple reports.

Milan has 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 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.

At the start of August, it was announced that Inter has secured exclusive rights to carry out a feasibility study into the potential development of a new stadium in Rozzano, which is around 9km south of the city. Italian real estate groups Brioschi and Bastogi, which currently own the land through a company called Infrafin, confirmed the deal in a statement.

The club will have until the end of April 2024 to study the possible redevelopment of the land. Inter will prepare a report on the possible project, including a cost breakdown.

This week, the latest edition of the annual ReportCalcio found that in the last 16 years (2007-22) a total of 199 new arenas were built in Europe, with an investment of €22.3bn – but Italy accounted for just 1% of this investment.

The report, published by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), repeated the calls it made a year ago concerning stadium redevelopment, again stating: “The launch of an investment program for the construction of a new generation of football facilities in our country appears increasingly essential.”