Stadio San Siro capacity: Why are some sections of San Siro closed and attendances limited?

Attendances at the San Siro are limited until the end of the 2022/23 season at the earliest, but why are parts of the stadium closed?

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AC Milan and Inter will have to settle for having no more than 75,817 fans inside the San Siro Stadium until at least the end of this 2022/23 Serie A season. There can currently be 26,329 in the first ring, 32,401 in the second ring and 19,545 in the third ring.

Until the end of the 2022/23 campaign though, there will never be more than 75,817 fans inside the stadium, according to a report from Calcio e Finanza.

What is the capacity of San Siro?

The different attendance figure has been very carefully crafted to make sure that certain parts of the ground are not used by fans. The full capacity is supposed to be 78,275.

It is certain sectors of the third red ring that are blocked off – three central sectors in the top tier of each curva. They are 325, 327, 328, 331, 333 and 334, some of which Benfica fans opted to reopen themselves during their Champions League loss to Inter in their 2022/23 quarter-final second leg. These sections being closed means that more fans are closer to the action on the pitch rather than being up in the skies. That is not why the measure was taken though.

Why are some parts of San Siro closed?

It has long seemed that the reason for the lack of a fully open San Siro is down to structural reasons. It has been reported that it is not safe to have the entire stadium full if fans are going to be jumping up and down in unison.

That may not make for great reading for visitors as it can’t be an exact science to decide what number is safe and what number isn’t. Videos often surface of structural movement in the stadium, but that is a key element of architecture for there to be some flex in structures.

It has been reported by Antonio Cunazza L’Ultimo Uomo, the real reason for the closed sections is that there are fears fans in that section where there is the most flex and vibration would get scared about the structure and rush for the exits. Those seats are the furthest from any exits, and that hypothetical situation has been deemed too dangerous to entertain.

Whilst it is not by a major amount, this limits the amount of money that the two Milan clubs – Inter and AC Milan – can make from each of their home matches at the San Siro in all competitions.

Potential for AC Milan and Inter to split from San Siro

The situation with the capacity is a very good example of why Inter and AC Milan are so desperate to get into a new stadium that they own.

With the public debate yielding little in the way of progress, Milan have started to really push ahead with their desire to build their own stadium separately from Inter. They feel more tied down with Inter’s financial uncertainty.

AC Milan line up ahead of a Champions League game in front of their curva sud. (REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo)

They have been sounding out multiple potential locations, the most realistic being the old horse racing track at La Maura. Sesto San Giovanni has also been mentioned, but the only thing that is really clear is that no change is coming in the immediate future.

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