The two giant football clubs of the city of Milan have been sharing the stadium since the mid-1950s, although the arena originally belonged to the Rossoneri. This stadium is often called San Siro if Milan plays on it, and Giuseppe Meazza, when Inter Milan has its matches here. But why do such big clubs and major rivals share the same stadium? We are going to answer this question right now, but before we start do not forget to click the subscribe button. Let’s kick off.
The football arena was officially opened on September 19, 1926, after the completion of the thirteen-month construction works, which employed about 120 builders. The stadium received its first name “San Siro” in honor of the local church’s saint. Initially, San Siro had a typical English design and consisted of 4 tribunes with a maximum capacity of 35 thousand spectators. The stadium began holding league matches and the first international matches. Naturally, San Siro grew up, while the infrastructure was constantly improving.
First significant changes of the design took place between 1938 and 1939, and were aimed at the capacity increase to 55,000 spectators. The modernized stadium opened on May 31, 1939, and that evening the Italian team played a draw with England (2:2).
At the same time, the rival Internazionale, for more than twenty years, had hosted matches at a very old, but unique ground. The Arena Civica was built back in 1807 by order of Napoleon Bonaparte himself. This is the oldest stadium in Italy, which was initially used for multi-purpose events, from concerts to sporting games. Only at the beginning of the 20th century, the Nerazzurri started playing their games on it. By 1947, it became obvious that the old stadium of Inter was too small for such a big club, at the time the 5 times winner of national league.
The proposal that both clubs should share the same stadium was welcomed by both clubs and the city administration. But before such a deal to be arranged, the stadium needed another reconstruction and expansion. Engineers spent seven years to develop the final extension project. San Siro closed for renovation works and reopened in 1955. The second tier was built, and the stadium began to accommodate 82 thousand spectators. By the way, according to the initial project, the reconstruction should have included the third vertically arranged tier, which would increase the capacity to insane 150 thousand spectators. But in the process, this idea was rejected.
In 1979, San Siro was renamed to Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, in honor of one of only two players who took part in both Italian national teams to won the world cups in 1934 and in 1938. Today, Italians use both names of the stadium. However, “Giuseppe Meazza” is preferred more by Inter fans, while Milan fans use the old name San Siro.
In 1990, the last modernization of San Siro was held. It was timed to the 1990 FIFA World Cup. A third tier was installed, but it required additional eleven external towers that held the weight of the upper row and the new roof. The roof was made of transparent polycarbonate.
A.C. Milan and Inter Milan never have home games on the same day. Roma and Lazio also share one stadium – the Stadio Olimpico, and so do Sampdoria and Genoa, who share the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. We believe that sharing a stadium makes derby matches more effective and meaningful. Do you agree? Please share your thoughts in the comments section. A new episode is on the way!