AC Milan take first step in new arena project

FILE PHOTO: The AC Milan logo is pictured on a pennant in a soccer store in downtown Milan, Italy April 29, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan are starting a process to build a new stadium on the outskirts of Milan, the Italian soccer club said on Wednesday, after efforts to replace their historic San Siro arena led nowhere.

Milan said they had filed a preliminary proposal with the city council of San Donato, a suburb south of Milan, targeting an area where they want to build a new 70,000-seater stadium, alongside the club headquarters and museum.

"It's a first step," AC Milan chairman Paolo Scaroni said at a press briefing presenting the project.

The plan is to have the process cleared in 2025 and to move to the new facility in 2028.

Like other Italian clubs, AC Milan, who are controlled by U.S. fund RedBird, do not own an arena, which is seen as a key driver to boost revenue.

The club and local rival Inter Milan have been in talks for years with the city of Milan to advance a joint project to rebuild San Siro, which was built in the 1920s and is currently the home ground of both teams.

The project stalled amid political resistance and heritage rules in Italy that protect historic buildings.

No financial details of the plan were disclosed, but a source involved in the process told Reuters it would require an investment of at least 1 billion euros.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; editing by Valentina Za and Ed Osmond)

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