Italy: San Siro's days numbered?

source:; author: Mateusz Osmola

Italy: San Siro's days numbered? Everything points to the end of an era in the history of calcio. The move of Inter and Milan out of Stadio Giuseppe Meazza is now becoming a reality. City councillors have approved an updated version of the project for a new stadium to be built next to San Siro. Upon completion, the legendary venue will be demolished.


The iconic San Siro gained its current monumental character as a result of the redevelopment carried out before the 1990 World Cup. At the time, 11 massive columns with spiral entrances for fans were created. Four corner pillars support the huge trusses that hold up the roof of the stadium. The venue has hosted many prestigious matches over the years. In addition to the World Cup itself, it was the arena of the Champions League and UEFA Cup finals.

San Siro© Chindea Ciprian Emil

Unfortunately, despite its rich history and status as an icon of stadium architecture, Giuseppe Meazza will soon cease to exist. The fact that Inter and Milan were planning to leave their current home had been apparent for several years. Now it seems that the matter has finally gained momentum. Milan's urban regeneration department has approved the 'revised and corrected' documentation for a new stadium submitted by both clubs. The new facility is to be built right next to San Siro.

Councillors wished the previous documentation to be adjusted to meet the new constraints. The key issue here was the construction density index, which the city ordered to be lowered. This forced Inter and Milan to revise not so much the design of the stadium itself (carried out by sports facilities specialists, Studio Populous), but its outline in terms of buildings for the commercial sector. This involves restaurants, hotels, etc.

San Siro© The Hausmeister's Groundhopping

According to documents from Municipality, the updated proposal is more favourable than the previous one, as it envisages the creation of green areas of around 50,000 m2. The new vision put forward by the two clubs is also expected to transform the area into a sports district, under the slogan 'cathedral of sport'. A series of meetings and public consultations will take place over the next two months to discuss further amendments to the project.

The clubs hope to have all the necessary approvals in place by 2023 in order to break ground in early 2024. During the construction, which is expected to last for 3.5 years, Inter and Milan will continue to play at San Siro. Only after work on the new stadium has been completed, demolition of the old venue is due to begin. Giuseppe Meazza will be completely razed to the ground. The completion of the entire project, including the green areas as well as service and retail facilities, is scheduled for 2030. It is expected to be worth €1.2 billion.

Nuovo Stadio Milano© Populous / Nuovo Stadio Milano

There are many indications that the last major event to take place at San Siro will be the opening ceremony of the 2026 Winter Olympics. This will mark the end of an era for Italian football. This is the natural order of things as maintaining two stadiums would be a costly solution. Nor have any sensible ideas emerged about how to develop Meazza once the new arena is open. Demolition is expected to cost €50 million.