Milan and Inter chiefs address stadium project at length including ticket prices and preserving San Siro

By Oliver Fisher -

Inter CEO Alessandro Antonello and AC Milan president Paolo Scaroni have once again spoken about the new stadium project, making their stance clear on various points.

The construction of a new stadium is of paramount importance to both clubs, but several committees are continuing to push to avoid the demolition of current stadium, aiming to take the issue to a vote and further delay the project or potentially stop it happening entirely.

Interviewed by Corriere Milano, both Antonello and Scaroni once again explained the point of view of the two clubs regarding the old stadium and regarding their plans for the construction of the new structure, with relaying their comments.

Antonello: “That of the clubs is not a speculative operation. We have returned within the parameters required. The only interest that the clubs have is to have a modern stadium that can support them in their development and make them competitive with other clubs.

“There is no will to build speculation. We are football clubs, we play football, but we want to have infrastructures that guarantee us results at a European level. It is our only goal. We have accepted the reduction in volumes to express the will to pursue that. It is an important objective not only for the club but also for the city. Less volumes mean 50,000 square meters of green and more sustainable one stage.”

On the old stadium, Antonello explains: “San Siro, although iconic, has had its day. There is a need for a modern, attractive and above all safe stadium. The Italian stadiums have an average age of 74 years. In Europe in the last 10 years 150 stadiums have been built for 20 billion of investment and only 9 per cent of the stadiums are privately owned.

“Restructuring it? The intervention would have been so invasive that it would have made San Siro unrecognisable. The identity element that today is he wants to keep would still be lost. We will go to review the volumes and understand what kind of investment we are going to make. For the extra contribution on public housing there is a table that is always open with the administration.”

One of the issues that has been raised is the possibility that moving to a new stadium could see a hike in ticket prices which would hit fans’ pockets, but Antonello responded to this notion.

“I want to clarify immediately. The additional revenues do not come from the increase in ticket prices, but from the revenues induced by the additional services that a modern stadium can guarantee. We do not intend to modify the tariff structure, the curves will always be there, like the popular prices”

Paolo Scaroni reiterated this point: “The corporate seats are sold to companies and not to fans who will continue to have tickets at popular prices. I remember that Arsenal has 8,000 corporate seats and 52,000 seats for fans. The 8,000 corporates generate revenues equivalent to 52 thousand seats.”

On the current San Siro, the Milan president said: “The stadium is so important to us that if we hadn’t had this chance we would have gone to make the stadium outside Milan. The new stadium is a vital necessity. San Siro is iconic because there are Milan and Inter.

“Being iconic comes from the presence of two great teams and not because it is beautiful or unique in the world. The iconicity will continue in the new stadium. Renovating it? We are reviewing the two projects to see what a vestige means: it could be a tower, a piece of the Curva… we are looking at it.

“After three years of hard work we have arrived at a solution that the Municipality and in particular the mayor has made its own. It is a point of decline that has cost us, but which we consider reasonable given the urgency we have to have a new stadium for our teams.

“The referendum is a topic that concerns the administration. For us the speech is very simple. If Milan and Inter want to compete in Europe with teams that earn three times what we earn, the new stadium is a primary requirement. But at this point we no longer ask ourselves the problem because we believe that the decision has been made.

“In the face of a refusal we would have reasoned about different solutions. For us it is essential to have certainty about the times. The more the years pass, the more ours clubs become less competitive. We must be sure that we can do the work by a certain date.”

Scaroni closed with a message to the committees: “We want to give Milan the most beautiful stadium in Europe and perhaps in the world. I don’t understand why it shouldn’t be accepted by everyone.  I am convinced that when the new stadium is seen, even the nostalgic and romantics will have the opportunity to change their mind.”

And Antonello: “Rings or Cathedral? Choice by Christmas. Probably when the fans see the project for the new stadium they will look forward.”

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Tags AC Milan Alessandro Antonello Paolo Scaroni
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