AC Milan awarded right to build new stadium in urban area

Barbara Berlusconi hailed a "historic day" after AC Milan were awarded the right to build a new stadium on the former trade fair site in the Lombardy city.

The Rossoneri can now finalise plans for what would become their new 48,000-seater home after beating off rival bids for a site they have identified for the construction of their new home, which is close to their new headquarters, which opened last year.

"It is the first historic step. Milan will be like London," Berlusconi, Milan's vice-president and daughter of club president Silvio Berlusconi, said on the club's official website. "Today, with the decision of the Fair Fondazione Fiera, officially starts the path that, at least in our intention, will lead to a new stadium."

Milan hope to be playing in their new home from the start of the 2018-19 season, but there are still plenty of bureaucratic obstacles to pass before the final green light can be given.

With the Italian government keen to help clubs renovate or rebuild stadiums, though, obtaining final approval should be a formality.

"It is a first step because we will have to submit the entire project to the institutions for approval," Berlusconi added. "Today, however, is a historic day.

"Ours is primarily a cultural challenge. First of all for Milan because we offer an urban stadium, to promote the development of the area that will host it, to make it safer and a symbol of the city.

"It will completely change the mentality of those who have gone to the stadium, proposing services and moments of entertainment not only for the 90 minutes of the game."

One of the key factors in winning the bid was a commitment to ensuring the infrastructure meets modern demands.

"At the same time we will fight to discourage private and encouraging instead public transport," Berlusconi said. "Milan, therefore, will be like London.

"In fact, London also has urban stadiums -- they can be reached by metro and have allowed the redevelopment of the areas in which they were built.

"In addition, for Milan, it is essential for the commercial development of the club. The use of the stadium overall will bring in €50 to 80 million per year. This income will also be used to buy new players."