Earlier today, the two Milan teams held a press conference where they expressed their joint desire to build a new stadium. The vision for the stadium, as they had outlined, would be a one that falls in line with the one the city of Milan has outlined for itself: a modern city that is cultured, attractive to tourists, fashionable, and environmentally sustainable.
Among the more interesting things we learned during today’s event:
The San Siro has outlived its usefulness. The goal of the project is to build a new stadium near the area where the San Siro once stood, and to fall in line with the vision that the city of Milan has envisioned for itself, and wants to accomplish by the year 2030. This has also been a project several years in the making.
“People ask, why can’t we restructure the Stadio [Giuseppe] Meazza? 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”, remarked Alessandro Antonello, Inter’s sporting director.
The new stadium is said to be able to host around 60,000 spectators, and will cost €1.2 billion to construct (with €650 million being allocated for the stadium, specifically). Included in the construction of this project would be the incorporation of a few, large, ‘green’ areas, or park spaces that would be accessible to the public all year round. It would be a gift to the city of Milan from both teams.
The project is slated to be much ‘greener’ than the current San Siro, which again, ties back into the the theme of environmental sustainability. This will be achieved in several ways, most notably with scaling back the size of the new stadium from the San Siro’s current height (68 meters tall), to a stadium that would be roughly half that size (30 meters).
The new stadium would also have a 60 percent smaller acoustic impact on the city, as it would be a ‘closed structure’, compared to the open structure of the San Siro. In addition to this, the new stadium would also address the problem of visibility, as in Antonello’s words, “There is also the problem of visibility, as the first tier only has a view of the pitch and people there cannot see the choreography. The spaces between one row and another are extremely tight and with new rules will not just be an issue of comfort, but of safety.”
Manica’s pitch will allow the San Siro to still exist, but it will be turned into a football pitch, and in the middle of a park that will be open to the public. The area around the stadium will be revitalized as well, and will include a vibrant shopping center, that will bring economic revitalization to this part of the city.
Their design plans include the following: Glass skyscrapers next to the arena, which has fully covered seating areas (but no roof over the pitch itself). The design would allow for the stadium to continue hosting music events with large screens erected in the center, as well as other, additional events. There would also be the designation of be several new VIP booths with special seating for corporate visitors, based on two tiers rather than three. Additional designs for the stadium would include an interlocking ring, representing how the two Milan clubs are intertwined with each other, and lighting up the stadiums in different colors during match days, with the stadium going red for Milan, and blue for Inter.
Populous’ proposal on the other hand, is called ‘The Cathedral’ and has a more open design with one remarkable aspect to it: it is inspired by the Duomo in Milan. Their proposal will contain the following:
Inspiration from Tottenham’s new stadium (which the firm built), not only from the design of the stadium, but from the quote, ‘incredible food market’ (The Marketplace) that is a hallmark of the stadium as well. There will also be a “ [...] Galleria filled with light and trees, a democratic space where the general admission fan and VIP can mingle, an incredibly democratic stadium”, stated managing director Chris Lee.
The proposed project will also include ‘green spaces’, most notably with “a much bigger district with 22 acres of green surrounding the building, a piazza with food and beverages, an office space that we purposefully sunk to ensure it’s a good and respectful neighbor.”
The San Siro will become a museum, with a glass elevator taking you down to the said museum, as well as being able to view a walk of champions who have played here. The architectonics of the building will change as well, most notably on game days, where it will either light up to with the blue snake of Inter, or will light up with the colors of Milan.
The city of Milan has yet to vote on whether or not to allow the two Milan teams to even begin construction on their new stadium. But that’s not stopping the two teams from moving forward with the project, and most importantly, from evaluating the proposals from both firms, and going forward with the one that they feel would best suit their vision for a new, hallowed, stadium for the two teams, and one that they would be proud to call home.
It’s perhaps fitting that the ceremony ended with the Primavera teams of both Milan and Inter assembling on stage for a picture (after all, they are the future and all that, yada yada). Joining them were a few members of Inter Femminile’s squad, most notably Lisa Alborghetti, the midfielder for both Inter and La Nazionale, and who once called AC Milan home. Having the woman who has played for both Milan teams there was symbolic for two reasons. The first of which, is the fact that she is a symbol of the ever increasing relevance and importance of women’s football in Italy, and also proof that switching between the two Milan teams is not something that is solely limited to the men. Now, it is something that the women can do also, thanks to the fact that they now play in Serie A. (And the women apparently, can inspire the same amount of passion between the fans too, and unfortunately, also bring out the worst in people.)
However, Lisa is proof that the Italian landscape is changing. And this new stadium is also a reflection of that change, and will serve well to bring the country’s two biggest teams up to speed, and to give them the additional revenue they’ll need to be able to compete in Europe. This is after all, the future that not only both Milan teams want, but that all of their fans have been hoping for. And it is moving from being a dream, to existing in actual reality. The future not only belongs to Inter and Milan, but to all of us as well.