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Design & Development

No referendum for AC Milan stadium project

Featured image credit: AC Milan

A proposed new stadium project for Italian Serie A football club AC Milan will not face a public referendum, the Municipality of San Donato Milanese has announced.

A group entitled the Comitato No Stadio (No Stadium Committee) had requested a referendum on the project. The group’s proposed question was: “Do you, the citizens of San Donato Milanese, want an intervention of a sporting and commercial nature to be carried out in the municipal territory of San Donato Milanese which includes the development of a new football stadium?”

The Municipality has ruled that a referendum would be inadmissible, and instead it intends on organising a range of discussions involving citizens and relevant associations and companies that represent the “entire” San Donato community.

The decision represents a boost for AC Milan’s plans for a new stadium, which are being driven by the Municipality. A referendum would have potentially ended the project, which calls for a 70,000-seat stadium.

Last month, the Municipality called on the membership of key stakeholders, including the Lombardy Region, Metropolitan City of Milan, Gruppo FS Italiane, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, FS Sistemi Urbani and Sportlifecity, in its vision to develop a new stadium for the club.

In February, AC Milan completed the acquisition of a package of land for the project from Sportlifecity, which had originally planned the development of a 20,000-seat arena at the site.

These plans changed when AC Milan identified the site as its preferred location for a new stadium. Sportlifecity is now 90% owned by the club after being acquired in June last year.

The news that AC Milan had secured full control of the land came after the Municipality in January started the “long and complex path” towards delivering a new stadium for the club, as the project cleared 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 the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, also known as San Siro, its current home.

The San Siro has itself been earmarked for redevelopment, and earlier this month the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, said a project currently being drawn up by Italian construction company Webuild is the only path forward for the stadium after the Municipality of Milan lost an appeal against protected status restrictions related to the venue.

Last week, UEFA delayed granting the 2027 Champions League final to the San Siro amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the venue, which AC Milan shares with cross-city rival Inter Milan. Inter is also seeking to build its own new stadium in the suburb of Rozzano.