Clubs: AC Milan and FC Internazionale | Opening: 1926 | Capacity: 80,018 seats
History and description
Stadio San Siro was a project of AC Milan president Piero Pirelli. In the first two decades of the 20th century, Milan had already occupied various grounds and by the early 1920s played at a ground at the Viale Lombardia.
Though a perfectly fine ground, it soon turned out to be too small for the club’s growing number of fans, and therefore architect Stacchini, also responsible for Milan’s central station, was hired to design a complete new stadium.
Stadio San Siro officially opened on the 19th of September 1926 with a friendly between Milan and Inter (3-6). The stadium initially consisted of four separate stands and could hold 35,000 spectators.
San Siro was first owned by AC Milan, but was sold to the city of Milan in 1935, who were soon forced too enlarge the stadium due to the club’s increasing popularity.
Plans were made for a massive stadium for 150,000 spectators, but were in the end significantly scaled down. The redeveloped San Siro opened in 1939, and consisted of one fully enclosed tier.
Until 1945, Milan had been the sole occupant of San Siro, but were then joined by Inter, who had before played at the Arena Civica.
San Siro got further expanded in 1955 when a second tier got built on top of the first one, which resulted in a capacity of about 85,000 places.
In the following decades, San Siro hosted two European Cup finals, the first in 1965 between Inter and Benfica (1-0), and the second in 1970 between Feyenoord and Celtic (2-1).
The stadium had earlier gotten ignored as a playing venue for Euro 1968, but did get selected as a venue for Euro 1980. At the same time it got officially renamed Stadio Guiseppe Meazza, in honour of the ex-player of Inter as well as AC Milan.
During the 1980 European championships, San Siro hosted three first round group matches.
Soon after, Italy got awarded the 1990 World Cup, and it became clear that a major upgrade was needed. For a moment, the option of building a new stadium was contemplated, but the architects Giancarlo Ragazzi, Enrico Hoffer, and Leo Finzi instead chose for an ambitious redevelopment plan.
Works included the construction of a third tier, a roof that would cover all seats, and eleven cylindrical concrete towers around the stadium to support the extra tier and roof structure. The resulting capacity was 85,700 seats.
During the World Cup, San Siro hosted the opening match between Argentina and Cameroon (0-1), three further group matches, a round of 16 match, and the quarter-final between Germany FR and Czechoslovakia (1-0).
The stadium got further refurbished in later years, and capacity reduced slightly due to UEFA safety requirements. In 2001, it hosted the Champions League final between FC Bayern and Valencia (1-1).
In early 2012, Inter announced the intention to build a new club-owned stadium, which they hope to move into in 2016. Further details are expected later in 2012. AC Milan is likely to stay at San Siro.
(photos of the present San Siro below)
Stadio San Siro is located in the west of Milan, approximately 5 kilometres from Milan’s historic centre and more than 7 kilometres from Milan’s central railway station.
If arriving by car from the direction of Turin (A4), Genova (A7), or Bologna (Autostrada del Sole), make your way to the western ring road (Tangenziale Ovest) and take exit 3 to the Via Novara. Signs will direct you from the motorway to the stadium.
If coming from the direction of Venezia, take the exit towards the Viale Certosa. After the exit signs will guide you to the stadium.
The closest metro station to San Siro is Lotto, from where it is an approximate 20-minute walk to the stadium. Lotto is on metro line 1 (red), which goes right through Milan’s historic centre (e.g. stops Cairoli, Duomo, and San Babila). Take metro line 1 in the direction of Rho Fiera and not Bisceglie. From the central rail station a change at Duomo is necessary.
Alternatively, the stadium can be reached with tram 16. Take the tram in the centre of Milan (west of Piazza Duomo) to Piazzale Segesta, from where it is a 20-minute walk to the stadium. Tram 16 used to continue all the way to San Siro, but currently ends at Piazzale Segesta due to building works on a new metro line.
From metro station Lotto as well as Piazzale Segesta there are shuttle buses on matchdays.
Address: Via dei Piccolomini 5, 20151 Milano
Eat, drink and sleep
San Siro is located in a rather quiet residential area, which has little to offer in terms of entertainment. As the stadium is easy to reach by metro, it therefore makes more sense to stay in the centre and head to the stadium for the match. Of course, there are plenty of food stalls around on the day of the match for a quick panino.
If you prefer to stay close to San Siro anyway, there are a couple of hotels near metro stop Lotto and Piazzale Segesta, so at walking distance from the stadium.
Hotel Mélia Milano, close to Lotto, gets the best reviews, but is also the priciest. Expect to pay €90.00 per night for a double room. Hotel Montebianco, Best Western Hotel Astoria, Hotel Nuovo Murillo, and Hotel Amendola Fiera also get good reviews and typically cost between €60.00 and €70.00, with a single room somewhat cheaper. Hotels don’t come for much less in the area. For all hotels near San Siro click here, for hotels in the centre here.
There are obviously much eating and drinking options around Piazza Duomo, but the Navigli area toward the south and the Brera area toward the north are also good for a relaxed drink. The area around the Corso Como is more upscale, the area around Sempione Park and the Corso Sempione a mix of the two.
Tickets for AC Milan games can be bought at the branches of Banca Intesa Sanpaolo (and a few other local banks), or at the stadium on the day of the match. Tickets can also be bought online if a Cuore Rossonero member or foreigner.
Tickets are also available at the stadium before the start of the match. Milan tends to only sell out the home matches versus Inter and Juventus. Identification is required in order to buy tickets.
Regular ticket prices start at €20.00 for a seat at the third tier, range to €40.00 for a second-tier seat at one of the long sides, and range further to €185.00 for a central lower-tier seat at the main stand. Prices are increased for the matches against Inter and Juventus to between €28.00 and €205.00. Tickets are a few Euros cheaper if bought in pre-sale.
Tickets for Internazionale matches can be bought online, at the branches of bank Banca Popolare di Milano (BPM), at the Solo Inter club store on the eastern side of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, at the La Feltrinelli bookstore at the same Galleria, or at the Mondadori bookstore at Piazza Duomo.
Tickets are also available at the stadium on the day of the match. Just like Milan, Inter only tends to sell out the derby and the match against Juventus, and just like Milan identification is required to buy tickets.
Regular ticket prices start at €22.00 for a third-tier seat, range to €37.00 for a second-tier seat at one of the long sides, and further up to € 170.00 for central lower-tier seat at the main stand.
Prices are moderately increased for the matches against Milan, Juventus, Roma and Napoli, resulting in prices ranging from €23.00 to €200.00. Tickets may be somewhat more expensive if bought on the day at the stadium.
San Siro houses the combined Milan and Inter museum. It also offers guided stadium tours that include access to the dressing rooms, hospitality areas, and press room. The tours last 30 to 40 minutes.
The museum opens seven days a week from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Tours leave every 20 minutes within these hours. There are no or limited tours on matchdays and different opening times apply for the museum.
Bookings are not required and cannot be made. The tour + museum costs €13.00, or €7.00 for access to the museum only.
For more information call +39 02 4042432 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relevant Internet links
ACMilan.com – Official website of AC Milan.
Inter.it – Official website of FC Internazionale.
SanSiro.net – Official website of Stadio San Siro.
SanSirotour.com – Information about the San Siro tour and museum.
Turismo.milano.it – Tourism portal of the city of Milan.
ATM.it – Public transport information for the city of Milan.