The mayor of San Donato Milanese, an area of Milan, has said that he does not think his district is an adequate area for Inter and AC Milan to build their new stadium, according to a report in the Italian media today.
Speaking during an interview with FCInter1908, Andrea Checchi was very honest about the potential of Inter and AC Milan building their new stadium in the San Donato Milanese region instead of remaining at San Siro.
“The stadium is always a difficult structure to manage. Honestly, I don’t think San Donato is an adequate setting to host a stadium. I haven’t done any in-depth studies, but I don’t think our municipality is capable of hosting a stadium, which is also the size of that of Juventus, which is half the size of San Siro.
“I would rule it out. On paper there is an area where a field could arise, but I have never seen, both from my administration and from the opposition, a desire to understand what could happen in San Donato, I tell you the truth.”
Andrea Checchi has been the mayor of San Donato Milanese since 2012 and he tells the story of how Inter once attempted to move to that area before.
“I have been mayor since 2012 and in that year Inter actually intended to have their own stadium in a section of the Municipality of San Donato Milanese. Indeed, given that there were many Inter fans in my council, a large delegation of ours went to the then headquarters of the Nerazzurri club in Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.
“We met Fassone (general manager of the company at the time) and we also viewed some renderings, but then everything vanished and since then no one has come back.
“Every now and then the name of San Donato jumps out of the newspapers, but there is nothing true at the moment. For now there has been no discussion or contact to understand the availability of our Municipality to host the plant.”
He feels that the reason that the plans went away is that owner at the time, Massimo Moratti, was planning to sell the club and he did not want to leave the new owner with a new stadium to build.
“There was a very, very interesting project because San Siro would remain in the hands of Milan, while Inter would build their own stadium in San Donato. Probably Moratti, who left Inter the following year, had at the time already planned to sell the club and did not want to leave such an important and heavy legacy to the future owner.
“Therefore, the hypothesis was put aside. Strange, with hindsight, that his successor did not take up the dossier on the new stadium. But with hindsight, mountains are built.”
Andrea Checchi will not be the mayor of San Donato Milanese soon as elections are coming up and he cannot be elected again. He knows there are possible areas for the new stadium but that is more an issue for the next mayor.
“Yes, there are some fields that are part of our territory that are currently used for services. But I repeat, at the moment I do not want to open the door: it is better to talk to the next Mayor, otherwise we would only risk wasting time for the operators.
Crucially though, he feels there is only space for the stadium and not a surrounding commercial area, saying: “For the stadium alone, there would be no space for the whole commercial area.”
Inter and AC Milan are being linked with many areas around the city for the new stadium but Andrea Checchi feels it may be to apply pressure to Beppe Sala, the Mayor of Milan.
“It seems more like a way to apply pressure. To make Sala understand that a plan B actually exists. It seems to me that the question was posed in these terms. It seems the biggest concern of the clubs at the moment is to carry out the project.
“Perhaps, right now, they see more obstacles than opportunities, which prompts them to consider alternatives. This is part of the logic of a negotiation, but we need to see the actual concreteness of all this.”
Finally, after revealing that he is a Reggiana fan, Andrea Checchi said he hopes AC Milan win the Scudetto this year as Inter won it last year: “Last year Inter won, so I hope Milan win this year.”