Populous’ “The Cathedral” confirmed as new stadium design for Inter and AC Milan

AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano have announced that Populous’ project – named “The Cathedral” – has been selected for their new stadium. The next weeks will be dedicated to finalising the objectives and development process of Milan’s New Stadium.

The decision announced by Comune di Milano last November sees a reconfiguration of the area in the San Siro neighbourhood, currently occupied by the Meazza Stadium, through the creation of a new district dedicated to sport and leisure.

The new district will include a new 50,000 sqm green area, on top of a reduction of built volumetry in line with the latest regulations (as regulated by the City of Milan Land Planning Scheme or “Piano di Governo del Territorio”). The district will be pedestrian-only, with over 110,000sqm of green areas (40% of the total square footage). The parking lot, which represents 27% of the total area in the current scheme, will be moved to a dedicated underground area.

Most of the sport and leisure activities – located both indoors and outdoors – will be free-of-charge or affiliated with the City of Milan (“convenzionato”).

Next phase

Following the decision of Comune di Milano, the Clubs sped up the process to finalise the selection of Populous and kick-off the next phase of the project, which will be carried out in the next months with the aim to present a final project at a later stage in 2022.

Populous has 21 offices on four continents, with over 800 employees. Over the last 38 years, the practice has developed more than 3,200 sport-focused projects, giving life to some of the world’s most iconic sporting arenas, including Wembley Stadium, the main stadiums for the Sydney 2000 and London 2012 Olympic Games, the Emirates Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, as well as the Yankee Stadium in New York, the Groupama Stadium in Lyon and the Estadio Da Luz in Lisbon.

In 2021, the new Populous-designed Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle opened and is set to be the first-ever net zero carbon arena in the world.

“The Cathedral” will be ground-breaking in terms of innovation and sustainability. Images, courtesy: Populous


The new San Siro will be designed by Populous’ Milan office with the support of their EMEA team in London. A multidisciplinary team will lead the project, which is set to increase the opportunities and services offered to the residents with an improvement in the quality of the urban fabric of the neighbourhood.

The Cathedral is a celebration of the artistic and cultural heritage of Milano. Its design was inspired by two of the most famous buildings in the city – the Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – and will result in a unique stadium that will stand out from any other sporting arena in the world.

The Cathedral

“The Cathedral” will be ground-breaking in terms of innovation and sustainability. The new stadium, surrounded by a large green area, will be carbon neutral and LEED-certified, thanks to the use of the most innovative materials and cutting-edge technologies in terms of water and electricity usage, as well as noise control. The stadium’s accessibility and user experience will also be outstanding, offering unprecedented safety, comfort and sightlines, as well as a range of new public services.

AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano have confirmed their desire to deliver an outstanding project, which will generate new job opportunities, regenerate a key urban area in the city, and create a new green area of over 50,000sqm for citizens. The project aims to consolidate and improve the image of the City of Milan and of Italian football.

Paolo Scaroni, President at AC Milan, said:

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

Alessandro Antonello, Corporate CEO at FC Internazionale, said:

The New Stadium of Milan will be in an extra-contemporary green area that can be lived all year round. The new district for sport and leisure and its 50,000sqm park will make San Siro the go-to neighbourhood for sport and entertainment.

Populous was a sponsor for the 2021 edition of ALSD International, with Principal, Megan Ashfield moderating a panel session on “The Future of Hospitality” alongside Becci Thomson, Head of Premium Sales, Co-op Live, Liam Doyle, Principal, Jump Studios and Chris Maddison, Commercial Director, Delaware North.

Christopher Lee, Managing Director – EMEA, Populous, said:

The Cathedral will become one of the most iconic stadiums in world football. It will create a world-class, modern, and truly bespoke home for the legendary clubs of AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano and form the beating heart of a new civic district. It will be a stadium for all Milanese to enjoy for generations to come that is true to the city andhonours its heritage. A stadium of Milano and for Milano.

Declan Sharkey, Senior Principal and General Manager, Populous Italia, said:

Our design envisages the stadium as the most sustainable in Europe and the focal point of a new sports and entertainment district for Milano that will be alive throughout the year. Underpinned by the history and traditions of these two great clubs, it will not only deliver an incredible sporting arena to watch football in but revitalise the whole area to better serve Milano’s citizens, visitors, fans and their families.

Silvia Prandelli, Principal, Populous Italia, said:

The new Milano Stadium project represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write a defining chapter in the storied history of AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano. The Cathedral will create a new quality of experience for the clubs’ supporters and future generations of supporters, offering world-class amenities befitting of Milano, with sustainability at the very heart of the design.

Official website: www.nuovostadiomilano.com

ALSD International delivers an annual conference & exhibition, in addition to a 365 community, with the focus to increase revenue through New Builds, Renovations & Service Expansions, via innovations in niches including Premium Seating & Hospitality, Architecture & Design, Fan Experience and Technology.

The 2021 hybrid edition was hosted by Liverpool Football Club and featured a high-level conference, an exhibition showcasing industry-leading products & services, as well as networking events at Everton’s Goodison Park and M&S Bank Arena. The 2022 event will be announced in the coming weeks!

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