MILAN, July 10 (Reuters) - Milan’s top soccer clubs, AC Milan and Inter Milan, presented on Wednesday a joint plan to build a new stadium in the city, proposing to invest more than 1.2 billion euros ($1.35 billion) in the project.
The stadium would have a capacity of 60,000 and be built next to the current San Siro arena, which is owned by the City of Milan and where they both currently play their home games.
However, the initiative drew only a qualified welcome from Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, an AC Milan fan and head of the powerful League party, who said he could not countenance the demolition of the San Siro stadium.
“I’m asking for a copy of the project. Every initiative is welcome, especially if it helps us to better manage security, but as a sports fan, an Italian, a Milan local and a ‘Milanista’ I cannot think of the demolition of the glorious San Siro stadium,” he said in a statement.
Many of Italy’s leading clubs are pushing to build new, multi-faceted stadiums that they themselves own and control in a way to raise further revenues, as is the case with many leading European clubs.
At present, most Italian soccer stadiums are owned by local authorities who have had a vested interest in hindering the development of private sports facilities. ($1 = 0.8881 euros) (Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro and Angelo Amante Editing by Mark Bendeich and Crispian Balmer)