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Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro)

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro) Stadium in Milan was designed by architect Stacchini and engineer Cugini based on an Anglo-Saxon model, characterized by four independent stands that were placed close to the field of play. It had a seating capacity of 20 000 and was able to accommodate 35 000 spectators. The main stands were covered by a canopy which was supported by small pillars.

Since its existence, the stadium has been very important - so much so, that in 1935 two of the main stands were enlarged. In addition, four curvilinear stands were constructed and connected with the old tribunes and as a consequence, the corners of the stadium were closed. In 1939, the stadium was fully encircled with stands and could host 55 000 spectators.

In 1955 another expansion took place. A second ring of stands was added by architect Ronca and engineer Calzolari. The new stands were partially placed on the existing ones and lean on an autonomous structure of reinforced concrete. Access to the top ring was constructed on a series of continuous tiers along the entire external perimeter.

In 1980 the stadium was dedicated to Giuseppe Meazza who was a symbol of "The Football Club Internazionale" and the Italian national team during the seventies. Meazza also played at AC Milan for two seasons. Vittorio Pozzo, past coach of the national team always said: "having Giuseppe on the team is like starting the match with a goal ahead!"

In anticipation of the 1990 World Cup, at the end of the eighties the stadium was modernized with the addition of a third ring of tiers and the roof designed by architect Ragazzi, architect Hoffer and engineer Finzi. The new tiers follow the course of the ring below and is sustained by an independent structure. The third ring is based on 11 large cylindrical towers of reinforced concrete and access to it is through helical stairs. The towers and unique entrance contribute to the dynamic look of the stadium today.

The four angular towers are 51 meters high and interrupt the continuity of the upper level of tiers in order to sustain the roof's main supporting beams. These red-colored metallic beams extend along the perimeter of the stadium and have a rectangular structure. They intersect at the four corners of the stadium and extend to the exterior. The main supporting beams are 9.5 meters high.

The current capacity of the stadium is 80 074 with all seats being covered. Although the East side of the stadium does not have a third tribune, designed not to interfere with a hippodrome situated next to the stadium, the atmosphere inside is awesome. The lack of this tribune enables a great view of Milan and fans sitting on the highest seats can admire the city's most beautiful cathedral.

© by Angelo Spampinato

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