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Sunday March 17 2019
La Scala del Calcio

As we prepare to experience the Milan Derby at San Siro, Matthew Santangelo realises it might be one of the last at the Scala del Calcio.

The Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, or more commonly referred to as San Siro, was erected nearly a century ago in the 1920s, with a string of periodic renovations since then to ensure the structure remained intact and suitable enough for modern football.

With a capacity exceeding 80,000, it is the largest ground in Italy and serves as the home of both Milan and Inter who, with their history of success and winning tradition, have turned the stadium into the hallowed ground we see today.

An architectural wonderland with its perimeter beams and signature spiraling staircases, San Siro remains a mecca of world football, despite its outdated facilities and need for improvement. It is one of the few in Italy that avoided the plague of athletics tracks and remained purely constructed for Calcio.

However, here in 2019, with state of the art stadiums being constructed and serving as money-making machines for top clubs all around Europe, perhaps there is no better time than now to discuss the future of San Siro and whether or not its two tenants should push for a new place to call home.

Multiple reports around Italy insist demolishing the Stadio Meazza and replacing it with a €600m, 60,000-capacity venue similar in design to the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey is more than just an idea at this stage.

As things stand, it seems as though Milan and the local council have given the go ahead, with Inter to follow suit. But, the thought of tearing down La Scala del Calcio and breaking ground in the same location is something that seems to have divided many with devotion to either one of the clubs.

Many opposed to the idea of departing San Siro are likely thinking nostalgically and visualizing the structure they built a life around turning to ashes. These individuals understand the commercial opportunities and benefits that come along with erecting a brand-new venue like the Juventus Allianz Stadium, or what Roma have in the pipeline with the Stadio della Roma. But there is something to be said about the nostalgic value, tradition and aura around San Siro and seeing its awe-inspiring presence in the distance; that is awfully difficult to replicate.

Reports also add that along with a new ground, the project would include a 5,000-capacity for concerts and events, as well as a shopping mall surrounding the area, which would drive even more revenue.

Now if you are a football fan who can look beyond all of these factors and see the bigger picture in a major commercial opportunity, building a new stadium over the current one is the sensible way forward.

Opting for additional renovations and additions instead of a complete teardown is probably the most conservative approach. But the reality is with both Silvio Berlusconi and Massimo Moratti out of the equation, and new ownership groups having the long-term gain in mind for the clubs to effectively generate the revenues of Europe superpowers, a new stadium becomes a formality – even if it will divide many in the process.

Could we be witnessing one of the last Milan Derbies in this iconic venue? Let’s appreciate it all the more.

Have your say...
I was in Milan two weeks ago and took a tour of the stadium (minus the museum - it was closed) and my reaction was less than enthusiastic. Yes, the abscence of an oval track allows for a better experience, but the seats are mostly molded plastic and a few of the foam seats had their black covers ripped off, exposing the underpadding. ... Build a new stadium or retro-fit the existing one? The answer lies in whether the teams want to offer a better football experience or more streams of revenue.
on the 20th March, 2019 at 1:27pm
I love San Siro but I trust Italian arquitects to give us a truly spectacular new stadium for Milan. I just hope they would consider making it a bit larger maybe 67,000 in order to host future UEFA Champions League Finals.
on the 20th March, 2019 at 5:44am
I'm all for Italys clubs building new grounds.That being said.Brand new isn't always better.There r clubs who'd love a stadium such as San Siro.It really is unique.It's history n architecture.Just it's 'presence' n the way it intimidates opponents.I get why Juve started from scratch.Everyone hated Delli Alpi but in this case surely there's another way.Buy it.Do it up.Even buy the racehorse ground! Add modern amenities without completely demolishing it as that'd almost seem like a crime.
on the 18th March, 2019 at 2:28pm
I've been to matches at some of the biggest and most renowned stadiums in football. Bernabeu, Camp Nou, Estadio Da Luz, San Paolo, Westfalenstadion, Veltins Arena, Wembley, Anfield, La Bombonera, Estadio Monumental, Centenario, Maracana etc and I can tell you right now, for me, NOTHING beats that feeling when you step out of the metro station and see the San Siro looming in the distance. Even when you're getting hassled by the string bracelet "salesemen". For me losing San Siro will be terrible.
on the 18th March, 2019 at 12:16am
What a match!! One worthy of a derby and of this spectacular, iconic stadium.
on the 17th March, 2019 at 11:44pm
I understand the nostalgia surrounding the San Siro... That said, we all want our teams to be champions more than we want to remain in the 80k icon. With that in mind, I bid it good riddance. No one wants to see Juve win the league year in, year out...
on the 17th March, 2019 at 9:35pm

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