From San Siro Stadium to Santiago Bernabéu: the challenge of requalifying football temples

The feasibility study will arrive in the next few months for the Meazza redevelopment project to transform it into a smart and sustainable stadium is underway

The Meazza Stadium in San Siro, a temple of football where the champions of Inter and Milan play, will not end up in the album of memories. The Webuild Group has indeed been tasked by the mayor of Milan, Beppe Sala, to prepare a feasibility study for the renovation of the Meazza. No more farewell to San Siro, as many feared in recent months, but a project that allows the structure to be profoundly renewed, transforming it into a smart, sustainable, and modern stadium. According to initial analyses, the work could be mainly carried out during the summer months, and construction activities would not prevent the use of the stadium for football matches. It is an ambitious plan that responds to a widespread need in the world of infrastructure applied to sports, namely the need to redevelop and refurbish old facilities without building new ones. This need addresses the theme of sustainability but also the protection of infrastructures that over the years have become iconic, true temples of sports.

From Camp Nou to Bernabéu, the great stadiums choose renovations

The path of renovation has been chosen by the most noble and prestigious football clubs in Europe, starting from Barcelona, which is currently transforming its Camp Nou. The stadium is indeed at the center of an ambitious redevelopment project of about 1 billion euros, partly financed by the streaming music giant Spotify. In this case as well, instead of building a new stadium, the club has chosen to modernize what has been the home of the champion Lionel Messi for years. The demolition of the old stands has already begun with the aim of completing the work by 2025, when the new “Spotify Camp Nou” will be inaugurated, capable of hosting 110,000 spectators.

Like Barcelona, Real Madrid has also carried out recovery interventions on the Santiago Bernabéu, another temple of world football that hosts one of the most successful teams of all time. In this case as well, the investment has approached a billion euros and has included the construction of a “mobile” roof, partly retractable, the redevelopment of the stands, but above all the realization of the world’s first retractable playing field. The field has been divided into six vertical sections, each about 105 meters long, which through a mechanized system are kept at a depth of 35 meters, where the grass is protected and maintained. When there are no matches, the field is therefore stored in this “hypogeum”, while the mechanized system brings it back to the surface before the matches.

Euro 2032: Italian stadiums at the redevelopment game

The objective of the Euro 2032 Championships, which will be partly hosted by Italy, puts the theme of the redevelopment of sports giants at the forefront. Apart from San Siro, included in a recovery plan triangulated between the Municipality of Milan and the Milan and Inter clubs, in perspective, other great Italian stadiums could also become the subject of profound redevelopment interventions.

The most significant is surely the one that would involve the Maradona Stadium in Naples. A few days ago, the Municipality of Naples, together with the football club led by President Aurelio De Laurentiis, presented a plan of interventions that would allow Maradona to be ready for Euro 2032.

According to the project, it will take 20 to 24 months to complete the work with an investment of 100 million euros. An ambitious project that will be finalized by the beginning of summer, but that confirms the vitality of Naples in terms of infrastructure. The city is indeed involved in the realization of a series of major works, on the one hand, the continuation of high-speed/high-capacity rail links to Bari, and on the other hand, the completion of the Capodichino metro station, which will allow reaching the airport in a few minutes from the city center. All works that the Webuild Group is working on, involved in the challenging objective of the Italian government to modernize the South and its infrastructure, thus ensuring growth and employment.

Webuild's great stadiums

The idea of ​​redeveloping and rebuilding San Siro responds to the commitment of the Webuild Group in the construction of large stadiums. In addition to participating in the construction of the Meazza Stadium as well as the Olympic Stadium in Rome, the Group has built numerous sports facilities worldwide, the latest being the Al Bayt Stadium in the city of Al Khor, not far from Doha, which hosted some matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Also in this case, we are talking about a futuristic facility, capable of hosting 60,000 spectators within an area of ​​200,000 square meters, designed with the ultimate goal of sustainability. In addition to the use of sustainable materials, the structure of the Al Bayt Stadium has been designed to be partly dismantled at the end of the World Cup, reducing its capacity to 32,000 seats, and perhaps making the stands available to developing nations in need of new sports facilities.