San Siro lives to fight another day as Inter and AC Milan told they can’t knock it down

November 4 – The two Milan clubs have been given approval to go-ahead with development of a new stadium but it will not be at the expense of knocking down the San Siro.

Milan’s city council has recommended to its mayor that the proposed new 60,000 was unacceptable, due to the development’s “excessive size”, and its focus on commercial facilities.

Instead the council said the clubs should rethink plans and preserve the existing San Siro architecture.

“I’m happy with the decision, but the project is not acceptable as it stands,” said mayor Beppe Sala. “The requested stadium size is excessive and unrealistic, and efforts must be made to safeguard the old San Siro facility. At the very least, we must be absolutely sure that there is no possibility of saving it in some way – not just preserving it as a monument, but making it work.”

Inter and AC Milan had submitted plans that saw the San Siro demolished and a new stadium built adjacent to the current stadium site turning the area into an entertainment district. The  new stadium would have greatly improved corporate and hospitality facilities enabling the clubs to increase match day income streams.

The clubs argued that maintaining the old but iconic San Siro was not financially feasible saying that redevelopment costs would be at least $250 million but would still not create a modern stadium with the income opportunities that their big club rivals in Europe benefit from.

“The best solution for San Siro would be a combined solution, so a commercial space for development, but also a reduced capacity arena of use to the city,” Sala told local reporters.

“We need to understand if it is financially viable, but it would be the best thing for the city, seeing as football in Milan isn’t just Serie A, but also women’s football and youth teams.

“In that sense, a reduced capacity Stadio Meazza would be a good solution. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I ask the clubs to make a serious effort to find a new life for San Siro.”

“We need this project. Regardless of the conditions, we want to act quickly,” said Inter’s chairman, Steven Zhang.

While both clubs said they would look again at seeing what could be retained of the San Siro in a new development, they also warned that they had the option of moving to the site of a former steel plant site in the northern suburb of Sesto San Giovanni.

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