Italy’s heritage authority raised no objections to tearing down Milan’s 1920s-era San Siro arena, a document seen by Reuters showed, removing a major obstacle to the city’s top-flight soccer club’s plans to replace it with a new stadium.
Serie A clubs AC Milan and Inter, respectively owned by US fund Elliott and Chinese electronics retailer Suning, last year filed a request to jointly build a new 60,000-seater stadium in the San Siro area.
The new stadium is the key element in a wider 1.2 billion euro (US$1.31 billion) real-estate plan for the district, which includes demolishing almost the entire historic San Siro arena, home ground of both the city’s top-flight clubs.
Although approval from heritage authorities is not the final decision, it is an important step toward implementing the plan.
According to an opinion from the authority to the Milan municipality, which owns the site, the arena does not have any architectural significance that would prevent its demolition.
Following several redevelopments, only a small remnant of the oldest part of the stadium, built in 1926, is left.
The clubs and the municipality have been in talks for months to try to find a compromise over plans to replace the nearly century-old arena.
City representatives, including Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala, had repeatedly questioned plans to tear down the San Siro and the clubs have modified initial projects that would have seen the entire stadium demolished.
The plans under discussion include tearing down most of the old arena, but keeping part of it as a kind of city landmark around which the clubs would build a new sports complex available to the public.
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