AC Milan president Paolo Scaroni has said that it would be too dangerous to renovate the existing Staio San Siro given there will be 50,000 people arriving at the stadium every week for matches.
The public debate on the new stadium begins on Wednesday, September 28. It marks the start of some genuine progress towards AC Milan and Inter getting into a new stadium providing it is a successful operation.
It is a very articulated process that includes five public meetings, five in-depth meetings and two activities in the neighbourhood that aim to collect comments and proposals to evaluate and improve the project.
Both Scaroni and Inter’s corporate CEO, Alessandro Antonello, spoke at a press conference to discuss the project.
Why can’t San Siro be renovated?
Many fans have been quick to ask why the existing Stadio San Siro can’t be renovated rather than demolished and replaced. Scaroni addressed this head-on by explaining the safety element of such a job.
“I would like to explain why San Siro cannot be renovated. There are various reasons, but I’ll limit myself to saying the main reason: how can we play 50 matches plus other events with a mega construction site into which 50,000 people enter every six days?”, Scaroni asked.
“I assure you that this is impossible and very dangerous. All the renovations took place where there was only one club and where there was a nearby stadium to move to for a while.
“Every time I hear people say why don’t we renovate San Siro I think that those people either haven’t thought it through or don’t want to do anything. For us it is impossible. So either we do the new stadium at San Siro or we do it somewhere else.”
The environmental side of the new San Siro
Something that has been a three throughout the planning stages of the new stadium is the need for it to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Many citizens in the San Siro area of the city of Milan are keen for the space immediately around the stadium to be turned into a proper green space.
Antonello was keen to stress how the green space has been multiplied in the plans and he also pointed out the traffic restrictions that will be put in place.
“We have more than doubled the green space. I would like to mention that this will become a restricted traffic zone, perhaps the largest in Milan,” Antonello said.
“We believe the new stadium can be an added value not only for the club but also for the citizens. We have responded to the additional requests made to us by the municipality.”
The benefits of a new stadium for Inter & AC Milan
Italian teams have been lagging behind the rest of Europe’s major leagues when it comes to stadium ownership. The majority of Serie A sides do not own their own ground and the money they generate from matchdays is much lower than Premier League clubs.
The Suning family which owns Inter has been very desperate to get into a new stadium as they know that it raises the value of the club dramatically and they are not averse to a sale.
For RedBird Capital Group, who have just completed their takeover of AC Milan, it is a natural step on the road to being a European powerhouse again in practice rather than just in name.
When presenting their plans, the clubs said that they can make €120.4m in revenue annually from the new stadium thanks to naming rights, sponsorships, other events and the museum/tours.
That is a major jump on the €12.3m in revenue from tours, museum, store, events and sponsorships in 2018/19, according to MI Stadio which is the company used to manage San Siro.