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Municipality of Milan loses San Siro appeal

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

Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, has said a project currently being drawn up by Italian construction company Webuild is the only path forward for the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, after the Municipality of Milan lost an appeal against protected status restrictions related to the venue otherwise known as the San Siro.

The Municipality in October launched an appeal against a decision placing protected status on the Meazza, effectively preventing the original plans by Serie A football clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan to demolish the facility and build a replacement adjacent to it.

The Municipality presented an appeal to the Regional Administrative Court (TAR) of Lombardy-Milan to secure an annulment of the opinion presented by the Archaeological, Fine Arts and Landscape Superintendence for the Metropolitan City of Milan on July 26, followed by another from the Regional Commission for the Cultural Heritage of Lombardy on July 27.

These related to the classification of the second tier of the Meazza, along with the west stand, as structures of cultural interest. During a meeting held in May last year, despite apparent pressure from AC Milan and Inter Milan, the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape was said to have confirmed that it would not lift protected status from the Meazza.

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.

While both clubs have now effectively abandoned their original stadium plans in favour of pursuing separate projects, Milan in San Donato Milanese and Inter in Rozzano, the Municipality still wanted to keep its appeal at the TAR in play.

Following yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) ruling, Sala told reporters: “Today’s sentence is one more step to say that San Siro cannot be demolished and it is proof that our way to try to regenerate the stadium is the only possible way to regenerate the stadium.

“So there are two alternatives: either we can convince the teams (AC Milan and Inter Milan) to regenerate the San Siro, and it is a victory for the city, or if this does not happen, the San Siro risks turning into something that loses some of its identity. So it wouldn’t be good for anyone.

“San Siro has passed through difficult weeks and months, but we can hope that through this work done by Webuild there will be an opportunity to give it a second life.”

In February, Webuild was asked to deliver a feasibility study in three months concerning the redevelopment of the Meazza, in order for it to remain the home of Milan and Inter.

The news was disclosed following a meeting between Sala; Alessandro Antonello, corporate CEO of Inter; and Paolo Scaroni, president of AC Milan. The purpose of the meeting was to verify a feasibility plan relating to the renovation of the San Siro.

The meeting was held after Webuild earlier declared to the Municipality of Milan that it would be prepared to undertake a revamp of the Meazza, based on the project already presented by architectural studio Arco Associati.

The presentation was made back in January in an effort to persuade Milan and Inter to remain at their current home instead of building new stadiums. The project, which will cost around €300m (£258.3m/$322.2m), is being led by 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. Inter and Milan would be able to continue playing at the stadium while the redevelopment takes place.

The new-look stadium would also feature commercial spaces, restaurants, bars, suites, wellness spaces and offices. Some 10,000 seats would be reserved for premium seating.