A board member of the most famous architecture company in sport has explained that clubs like Inter and AC Milan need to have an innovative stadium that attracts more than just football fans, according to a report in the Italian media.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport at the inauguration of Populous’ Italian headquarters, Christopher Lee took questions about the plans to create a new San Siro for Inter and AC Milan.
In terms of how far along the project is, Christopher Lee explained that no decisions will be taken until after the October elections.
“I cannot go into details because we are in the running with another study and I believe that no decision will be taken before the municipal elections in October.
“But we are very confident and believe in the innovation and sustainability qualities of our plan.”
During a speech, he mentioned the Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, two famous Milanese landmarks. He did this because he feels the project must respect the tradition of the location.
“We believe that a successful project must respect the tradition and the soul of each place. This is even more true in Milan. So we thought of citing iconic places in the city, so that it was truly a Milanese stadium.
“We wanted it to be immediately recognizable and also to become attractive to those who live here. In our idea, the sports stadium is important, but it is part of a much more ambitious project.
“The new San Siro, in our ideas, will be a new district. It will be a place to go to all day or for the whole week.”
Speaking in relation to those who feel the original San Siro is too historic to be replaced, he used the example of England knocking down the original Wembley Stadium in order to build a modern version.
“I understand the point of view. The same thing happened in London for the old Wembley. We all had a strong connection with that monument.
“But if you ask the fans what they think of Wembley now you will find that they are all overjoyed. Milan and Inter fans will also be in Milan.
“The big football clubs need to have an innovative stadium. I think it’s a necessity.”
There is reportedly a chance that the new stadium could be ready in time for Italy to host the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina.
“It depends on when you start. The construction of the stadium takes between 30 and 36 months. And counting all the completion works will take between 4 and 5 years.
“If the go-ahead is given by next spring it is possible to cross the finish line before the Olympics.”