stadium & supporters

Stadium

Curva Sud of the San Siro prior to match

The team’s current stadium is the 80,018 seat San Siro, officially known as Stadio Giuseppe Meazza after the former player who represented both Milan and Internazionale. The name San Siro is taken from the district where it’s located. The stadium is shared with Inter, the other major football club in Milan. The stadium is well known for its fantastic atmosphere due to the closeness of the stands to the pitch. There is the frequent use of flares by the fans which often cause trouble.

On December 19, 2005, AC Milan vice-president and executive director Adriano Galliani announced that the team is seriously working to move out from San Siro. He said that Milan’s new stadium will be largely based on the Veltins-Arena and following the standards of football stadiums in the United States, Germany and Spain. It will likely be a stadium for football purposes only (with no athletics track). The new stadium is supposed to be named after a sponsor. It remains to see if this plan will proceed or if this is just a ploy to force the owners (Comune di Milano) to sell the stadium to Milan for a nominal fee so as to proceed with extensive renovations. Rumours have also surfaced of Inter’s intention to also build a new stadium which may also affect this decision.

Supporters and rivalries

Milan is one of the most supported football clubs in Italy, according to an August 2007 research by Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Historically, Milan was supported by the city’s working-class and trade unionists,[23] a section of whom were migrants from Southern Italy. On the other hand, crosstown rivals Internazionale were mainly supported by the more prosperous and typically Milanese middle-class.

Milan banner saying “Inter, the true comedy since 1908,” with a caricature of Dante

One of the oldest ultras groups in all of Italian football, Fossa dei Leoni, originated in Milan. Currently the main ultras group is Brigate Rossonere and has been since the mid-1970s. Politically, Milan ultras have never had any particular preference, but the media have traditionally associated them with the left-wing, until recent times under Berlusconi’s presidency where they are considered somewhat right-wing.

Genoa fans consider Milan a hated rival after Genoa fan Vincenzo Spagnolo was tragically stabbed to death by a Milan supporter in January 1995. Milan’s main rivalry, though, is with intracity neighbor Inter; both clubs meet in the widely-anticipated Derby della Madonnina twice every Serie A season. The name of the derby refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose statue atop the Milan Cathedral is one of the city’s main attractions. The match usually creates a lively atmosphere, with numerous (often humorous or offensive) banners unfolded before the match. Flares are commonly present, but they also led to the abandonment of the second leg of the 2004-05 Champions League quarterfinal matchup between Milan and Inter on April 12, 2005, after a flare thrown from the crowd by an Inter supporter struck Milan keeper Dida on the shoulder.

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