Highbury went down. It, unfortunately, became a block of units, and Arsenal Stadium was built few meters away. Wembley too. Could this process repeat itself in Milan? The clubs are ready to go but the whole country has an opinion about it. Against!
The Giuseppe Meazza belongs to the city of Milan. The two clubs pay a rent to the city to use it. 10 millions per year. They share it. And this happens since forever! It is not Manchester, where you have two stadiums. Or Madrid. It is “The Meazza” when it is black and blue. And “San Siro” when it is red and black.
Money wise, it does not work as good as the Allianz Stadium in Turin. The capacity of our stadium is more than twice as bigger as the ex Juventus Stadium. But because the clubs do not own it and share it, and the stadium is not a shopping center with a football pitch in the middle of it, the revenues are not as high. That is the reason that pushes Suning and Eliott to go through the demolition of the stadium and the build of a new one. It will not change a thing!
Mayor Sala took a very pragmatic point of view. He said that the stadium belongs to Milan and if the two clubs want to demolish it and build a new one, the new stadium will belong to the city of Milan. The land belongs to Milan, the stadium belongs to Milan. Easy.
The mayor is a great A.C. supporter and he would much prefer keeping the stadium with a fresh restyling. But in is council, the Sport Assessor Roberta Guaineri is pro-demolition. She claims, “we can’t stop progress”. Could find out if she likes or understand a thing about football.
Massimo Moratti took a very sentimental point of view. Milan should have two stadiums. The Meazza should not be demolish as it is gorgeous: watching a game at San Siro is like being at the cinema or at a restaurant. And the two teams agreed with our beloved Presidente, but there is a problem: restyling San Siro and creating two separates entrances and areas for A.C. and Inter, will costs about the same amount of money needed to build the new stadium. So why bother?
Enrico Mentana, journalist and big Interista, pointed his finger to Suning and Eliott, blaming them to lacking of passion for the sport. It is a monument, like the Duomo or the Pantheon. It can’t be demolished.
Sandro Mazzola too. The idea of losing that monument forever makes him sick.
Now, about fifteen years ago, the architect Stefano Boeri, Interista, came up with the idea of restyling the Meazza. Two fronts, two entrances, two museums. One stadium, two identities. Because that is fundamental: the stadium must be shared. Interviewed today, however, he expressed a different idea. He still claims Milan must have one stadium. He would love if it was the Meazza as we know it. But if it costs too much to make it competitive, they must build a new one. Although it must be not a perfect copy of the old stadium, because every “anello” added in the years is like a Italian architecture photography. It would make no sense. He also claims he understands who does not want see the Meazza coming down, but a progressive city like Milan cannot afford to say no.
Let’s talk about the new stadium. It will not be known as the Meazza, it will most likely be called whatever the name of the sponsor will be. And it will be partially buried in the ground. 60000 seats only. No other detail known. Not good enough for us, the tifosi.
There is a political aspect I have not touched yet. The structure is over 70 years old and it could be declared site of cultural interest and saved from demolition. A committee has born, promising to create a petition to stop the plans of the two clubs. The committee started within Silvio Berlusconi’s political party, Forza Italia, but it does not want this issue to be a form of propaganda.
What is your opinion on the matter? Let us know in the comments.