AC Milan secures land for San Donato stadium

Featured image credit: AC Milan

AC Milan has taken another step towards developing a new stadium in the Municipality of San Donato Milanese after completing the acquisition of a package of land for the project.

The land in the San Francesco area had been owned by SportLifeCity, which originally planned the development of a 20,000-seat arena at the site. These plans changed when the Serie A football club identified the site as its preferred location for a new stadium, with SportLifeCity now 90% controlled by Milan after being acquired in June.

Milan essentially asked for a change in the structures being requested for development on the site and it has now secured full control of the land, according to multiple Italian media reports. In October, Milan reported its first profit in nearly two decades and record revenues of €404.5m ($344.7m/$435.8m), as the club disclosed that its owners had already invested €40m in advancing plans to deliver a new stadium. The financial commitment for the land acquisition is said to be part of this €40m.

The latest news comes after the Municipality of San Donato Milanese last month fired the starting gun on a “long and complex path” towards delivering a new 70,000-seat stadium for Milan, with the project clearing its first major bureaucratic hurdle.

The Municipal Council approved an initial proposal presented by the club in September, when it officially announced for the first time that it was pursuing a new stadium project away from its current Stadio Giuseppe Meazza home.

At the time, Milan said that it had “completed the first formal step”, in view of the potential future submission of a full project plan, by presenting to the Municipal Council an urban development proposal for the San Francesco area.

Along with the 70,000-seat stadium, the plans being driven by SportLifeCity also envision a hotel, catering facilities, offices, a club store and museum, a large plaza, auditorium and parking for 3,500 vehicles.

SportLifeCity in November estimated that the cost of the new stadium would be around €451m, with the overall project more than double this at €949m. The club has engaged CAA ICON to carry out the implementation of the project, while MANICA is the design architect tasked with developing plans for a new stadium and the entire entertainment district.

The Mayor of San Donato Milanese, Francesco Squeri, is set to hold a public meeting this (Tuesday) evening to discuss the Milan stadium project. Attendees are set to hear about the current state of the project, along with how it will progress in the short, medium and long term.

Squeri said on Friday: “Sharing and cooperation are the fronts on which we are engaged these days and will characterise the approach with which we will take the path that will lead to the Program Agreement aimed at the possible construction of the Milan stadium. 

“It will be our responsibility to constantly inform and involve the citizens and the stakeholders of the territory.”

While both AC Milan and Inter Milan pursue separate stadium ventures, a redevelopment project was last month presented for Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, also known as the San Siro, in a bid to persuade the two clubs to remain at their current home.

The project, which will cost around €300m, is being led by architectural studio Arco Associati. The plans would see a new-look San Siro feature a capacity of 75,000, 5,000 more than the two venues Milan and Inter are proposing, and around 800 less than the stadium’s current capacity.