Italy: Significant step in the Milan new stadium project

source:; author: Paulina Skóra

Italy: Significant step in the Milan new stadium project On September 27, AC Milan officially announced the stadium project in the San Donato area and simultaneously submitted relevant documents to the City Council. The resolution for the proposed urban development variant was expected to be signed around mid-January, but it was delayed by a few days.


Bureaucracy mitigation

The Council signed the resolution after an additional week to safeguard against potential modifications from the Lombardy region and other interested authorities. The decision was delayed to avoid slowdowns in the later stages when discussions about the programmatic agreement would begin in the Lombardy region.

In fact, the resolution was drafted in mutual agreement with the region, which was also working on the design, signaling a positive indication for setting the start date for the construction of the new stadium in Milan. Delays caused by bureaucracy were also taken into account.

Milan gets green light

On January 25, a press conference was held where the Mayor of San Donato Milanese, Francesco Squeri, officially presented AC Milan's new stadium project. We are moving forward, this operation is feasible, he emphasized with satisfaction. The City Council has already given the green light to the proposed urban development variant.

Design of stadium for Milan© MANICA Architecture | Design of stadium for Milan

The urban development variant proposal was necessary because just a few months ago, the plan was to build the stadium in the San Francesco area. However, this changed when Milan acquired the rights to the SportLifeCity company in June 2023. The next step, after approval by the Council, will be the green light for the project from the City Authority, expected in the coming weeks.

Recent days have also seen a meeting of the club's Board of Directors, where the acquisition of land for the project was approved. RedBird has already allocated €40 million for this significant step, marking the beginning of a lengthy process expected to conclude in a few years with the signing of the programmatic agreement by the Lombardy region. Regarding complexity, attention should be paid to three main areas: infrastructure, roads, and the environment.

Not just new stadium

The project involves strengthening the existing transportation system, constructing a new railway station, and reducing car traffic. The real challenge is the new San Donato railway station, which currently has only one stop, said Squeri. Currently, the station can handle traffic of 8,000 people per hour, with a goal of around 30,000, thanks to an increase in the number of trains on match days. It will have to be a proper railway station. Milan is committed to reducing road traffic, and that is the real challenge of the project. The scenario where 70,000 people come to the stadium, with 60% by car, is unthinkable.

Design of stadium for Milan© MANICA Architecture | Design of stadium for Milan

What about Mayor of Milan?

Unlike San Siro, there will be no need for a public debate in San Donato because the area is private. New intersections, if needed, can be created within two years. In two years, we will go to the City Council, and we will vote, adds the Mayor of San Donato. There are concerns that the Mayor of Milan and the metropolitan area, Giuseppe Sala, may obstruct the construction in San Donato due to AC Milan's move from San Siro. Let's say we don't cooperate, but we don't hinder either... If Milan builds the stadium elsewhere, we won't worry about it. However, I see a motivated club wanting to achieve something here, Giuseppe Sala assures.

The matter should be resolved by the end of February. Then, the Mayor of San Donato will propose a programmatic agreement between all involved parties: the region, the metropolitan city of Milan, the municipality of Milan, the state railways, the agricultural park of Southern Milan, and SportLifeCity.

San Siro© AdoForm | San Siro

Inauguration in 2028?

The Mayor of San Donato announced that the project, in addition to the football arena with around 70,000 seats, includes hotels, offices, museums, restaurants, an official club store, and a two-level parking for 3,500 cars.

AC Milan would like to move to the new facility before the start of the 2028/2029 season. The proposed programmatic agreement mentions an 18-month construction period, but there is much work, and it's never certain how it will end. The cost of the investment has not been disclosed to the public.

What's next for San Siro?

AC Milan's relocation means that only Inter may remain at San Siro, but Nerazzurri seem to have different plans. In the fall of 2023, a project for a new stadium in Rozzano emerged. The club has the right of first refusal for the construction site until the end of April of this year.

Milan has not yet talked about who plans and who does what. We will talk about it in the programmatic agreement because, for now, we are only at the project planning stage. San Siro will certainly stay in place, but at least one new stadium will be built. We need to know which one and how it will happen, said Mayor Squeri during the press conference.

Design of stadium for Inter© Populous | Design of stadium for Inter