‘The Cathedral’ gets nod but with provisos


New conditions for the new San Siro Image: Populous and AC Milan

The City Council of Milan has given the green light for the stadium that the top-flight Italian clubs – Inter Milan and A.C. Milan – are firm on building in place of their present home – the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. But, the nod comes with riders.

‘Milano Today’ stated that the City Council of Milan approved a policy act recently to amend the masterplan with 27 votes in favor, 14 against and one abstention. The riders are (also the result of the public debate held in recent months) – the stadium should be a 70,000-capacity one and not 60,000 as envisaged in the original plan so that there is no rise in ticket prices, increase in green cover from 18 percent to 50 percent and redeveloping the working class district of Selinunte.

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, commonly known as the San Siro, is a football stadium in the San Siro district of Milan, Italy, which is the home of A.C. Milan and Inter Milan. It has a seating capacity of 80,018, making it one of the largest stadiums in Europe, and the largest in Italy.

The A.C. Milan is a professional football club in Milan, Italy, founded in 1899. The club has spent its entire history, with the exception of the 1980-1981 and 1982-1983 seasons, in the top flight of Italian football, known as Serie A since 1929-1930.

The Inter Milan is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy (Italy). Inter is the only Italian side to have always competed in the top flight of Italian football since its debut in 1909.

On June 24th, 2019, A.C. Milan and Inter Milan announced their intention to build a new stadium to replace the San Siro. The new 60,000-capacity stadium, which would be constructed next to San Siro, is anticipated to cost US$800 million and was earlier expected to be ready for the 2022-2023 seasons.

In December 2021, the top-notch clubs announced that the celebrated design studio Populous’ project – ‘The Cathedral’ – has been selected for their new stadium.

‘The Cathedral’ is a celebration of the artistic and cultural heritage of Milan (Italy). Its design has been inspired by two of the most famous buildings in the City – the Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – and will result in a unique stadium that will stand out from any other sporting arena in the world and will serve as the home venue of Italy’s top-rung clubs – A.C. Milan and Inter Milan.

‘Milano Today’ further stated that Councilors from the Democratic Party, the Reformists and the Sala List voted in favor, as well as the Mayor of Milan Beppe Sala who also gave thumbs-up, while in the center-right the two Forza Italia (political party in Italy) exponents also voted in favor. Those who voted against are Alessandro Giungi, Simonetta D’Amico and Rosario Pantaleo of the Democratic Party, Enrico Fedrighini of the Sala List, Marco Fumagalli of Milan in Salute and the three Green Councilors – Carlo Monguzzi, Francesca Cucchiara and Tommaso Gorini. Marco Bestetti, who recently left Forza Italia and has always been critical of the new stadium, also voted against.

The other riders are – to initiate steps to further mitigate noise pollution, proper utilization of the green spaces and expending 40 million euros for the redevelopment of the neighborhood on which the venue will sit.

Riccardo Truppo of the national-conservative and Right-wing populist political party of Italy FdI stated that the entire Inter-Milan venue project was proceeding in a “haphazard manner”.

Plan B

Recently, the Inter Milan head honcho Alessandro Antonello had stated that they also have a Plan B in place just in case the new San Siro venue dream fails to take off.

It is hoped that Inter Milan and A.C. Milan will agree to the conditions laid down by the City Council.

The new Undersecretary for Cultural Heritage Vittorio Sgarbi is, however, working overtime to ensure that the San Siro Stadium – which is a storied institution – cannot be demolished under any circumstances.

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