World Football

Will San Siro be demolished in summer 2023?

Manav Chowdhury

May 9 2023
San Siro

The stadium is one of the most striking buildings in football and has played host to World Cup matches, as well as four European Cup finals.

The Rossoneri and Nerazzuri are united in their desire for a new home as they attempt to climb back to the summit of world football. AC Milan and Inter Milan are set to follow a host of Europe’s biggest clubs in constructing an all-new stadium at the end of the season, leaving the iconic Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in San Siro. Built-in 1926, San Siro is one of the most striking buildings in football and has played host to World Cup matches, as well as four European Cup finals.

Who are Inter and AC Milan leaving San Siro?

The main aspect to explain about this story is the reason why both clubs are now playing in San Siro but want to leave the iconic stadium. The reasons are multiple, but on top of everything, there is a financial explanation. In Italy, most of the stadiums are owned by the city and the clubs pay rent to play in the stadium. This is happening for all the Italian clubs, except JuventusAtalanta and Udinese.

For this technicality, the clubs that are renting the stadium can’t make as much in revenue as the others that own their respective stadium and can’t also invest as much as they want to renovate the infrastructure. In this case, San Siro was built back in 1926 and saw few major renovations in 1937, 1954, 1990 and 2015, but even if it’s still one of the most incredible and astonishing stadiums around the world, it can’t compete with other ones in terms of revenue. Both Inter and AC Milan’s first idea was to keep and renovate San Siro, but as the Nerazzurri former CEO Alessandro Antonello pointed out, that was not possible.

Building a brand new stadium is expected to cost in the region of €650 million (£590m/$740m) and it is hoped that it will be completed in a period of three years. Italy’s heritage authority has given the green light for a demolition.

“AC Milan and FC Internazionale have shared a stadium in San Siro for more than 70 years,” said Milan chairman Paolo Scaroni of the venture. “The project’s strength is the two club’s commitment together for the new Milano stadium. It means increased investments and a common goal to give the city a sports and entertainment district which is alive all year round thanks to events involving both teams and creating jobs for more than 3,500 people.”

The first tier was built in 1926, the second in 1956 and a third added in 1990 with the roof. These were placed one on top of the other, but have very little connection between them. This means there are very limited spaces for businesses and restoration.  Over the years, the San Siro has hosted games from the 1934 and 1990 World Cups, four Champions League finals, games at UEFA Euro 1980 and numerous iconic musical acts like The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Madonna and more. 

‘The Cathedral’

Architecture and design firm Populous have produced plans for a new stadium called ‘The Cathedral’, which is inspired by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II and the Duomo di Milano. The designs promise it will be “the most sustainable stadium in Europe”, with an “intimate” seating structure that aims to bring supporters as close to the action as possible. The capacity of the new stadium will be somewhat smaller than the existing stadium – roughly 60,000 seats instead of 75,000 – with the clubs acknowledging that average attendance has decreased.

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