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Inter and AC Milan choose Populous stadium design to replace San Siro

‘The Cathedral’ to be part of wider sport and leisure district featuring 110,000 square metres of green areas.

23 December 2021 Rory Jones


  • Populous planning to present a final project in 2022
  • Company also designed Yankee Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and London Stadium
  • The two Milan clubs have played at the San Siro since 1926

Italian soccer giants AC Milan and Inter Milan have chosen a proposal put forward by stadium architects Populous as the design for their new home ground.

The new stadium, christened ‘The Cathedral’, will house both Milan clubs, replacing the iconic San Siro, where the two Serie A teams have played since 1926.

The Cathedral, which will be built close to the current San Siro site, will be part of a wider sport and leisure district comprising a 50,000 square metre green area. Most of the sport and leisure activities available to visitors will be free of charge or affiliated with the City of Milan.

The pedestrian-only district will have over 110,000 square metres of green areas in total, representing 40 per cent of the site, while an underground car park will take up 27 per cent of the overall square footage.

Populous, which opened a Milan office in September, said that The Cathedral will be carbon neutral and LEED-certified. It has promised an ‘outstanding’ user experience and stadium accessibility, while also stating that the project will generate new job opportunities.

The new stadium is inspired by the Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, two of Milan’s famous landmarks. It will be designed by Populous’ Milan office with support from the company’s EMEA team in London. The next phase of the process will be carried out over the coming months with the aim of presenting a final project at a later stage in 2022.

Global architectural firm Populous has designed numerous sports venues, including the newly built Yankee Stadium in New York and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as well as other Premier League grounds such as Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and West Ham United’s London Stadium, which was the main venue for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In addition, the Populous-designed Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Seattle Kraken, is set to become the world’s first net zero arena.

Christopher Lee, Populous managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: “The Cathedral is set to become one of the most iconic stadiums in the world. It will be a modern home to legendary clubs AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano and will become the heart of a new neighbourhood.”

The two Milan clubs have been pushing for a new stadium for several years, but it was not until November that the Milan Council gave final approval for the construction of a venue to replace the San Siro.

“The new San Siro will be the most beautiful stadium in the world for its strong identity and recognisability,” added Paulo Scaroni, president of AC Milan. “An attractive arena, accessible and sustainable for the city of Milan that will facilitate the growth of the clubs and their global competitiveness.”

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