Words: Josh Millar
Images: Offside Sports Photography
The San Siro may soon be demolished as AC Milan and Inter are looking to announce joint plans to build a new stadium.
Inter’s chief executive, Alessandro Antonello, has said that both clubs agree that the only way forward is to tear down the famous old stadium, and then build a new home for both of them. La Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that original tenants Milan have wanted the move for a while, and Inter are finally on board with the plans.
The Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, commonly known as San Siro after the Milanese district it lives in, officially opened in 1926, with Inter and AC having shared tenancy since Inter moved there in 1947. The stadium has already been renovated four times in its history, including for the 1990 World Cup. And, since its inception, the Giancarlo Ragazzi Architects-built ground—with its spiralling interior ramps taking fans from lower concourse to upper tiers and eleven load-bearing cylinders that run around the ground’s exterior—has been a design favourite: a titan of brutal concrete.
“For me, the San Siro means pure fútbol,” said Diego Simeone, who played at Inter between 1997 and 1999. “It is an exceptional stadium, built for football, with people close to the players and an environment that pushes you. There are great acoustics, and we will hear the best support.”
But, despite its place in modern football history, not everyone's a fan. “San Siro is a historic stadium,” AC legend Paolo Maldini said previously. “It's nice, but it doesn't offer comfort." Now you’ll have to get your visits in soon to make up your own mind and pay your respects, as we could be saying goodbye to it in the coming years.
"A stadium is a very important asset in modern football," said Antonello. "We are working together at [the] San Siro stadium, and shortly we will tell Milan's mayor about our decision.”
Both clubs have to submit the plans to the local Milanese authorities by the end of April. If they are approved, then they can start building a new ground immediately, they hope to be playing at the new ground at the start of the 2022/23 season.
The new 60,000 seater stadium will apparently be modelled on the Metlife stadium in New York, which is currently shared by both NFL franchises, the New York Jets and New York Giants. Both Milan clubs will look to fund a shopping complex and 5000 seater concert venue alongside the stadium.