The club owner has stressed the need for a new facility which can be utilised for much more than Nerazzurri home matches
Erick Thohir says Inter are in talks with AC Milan about the future of San Siro, with plans to move into a new stadium depending on the viability of filling the venue for more than just football.
The Nerazzurri owner and president has told the Sports Business Summit in London that there are positives and negatives behind their joint agreement with Milan to rent the world-famous Giuseppe Meazza from the city council, but there is a clear will to build a new arena.
“There is a disadvantage and an advantage to owning your own stadium, or to sharing a stadium,” explained Thohir.
“If we understand Major League Soccer, the media is not there yet, the sponsors are not there yet, so the major income for Major League Soccer is the stadiums.
“In Inter, we have incomes from other business areas – from merchandise, from media and so on. We want to have our own stadium, but there are 365 days in a year – how many days we can fill it up?”
Both Milanese clubs have been linked with possible moves to new facilities in recent times and Thohir is unsure what more can be made of the world-famous San Siro despite its recent selection to host the 2016 Uefa Champions League final.
“San Siro has an 80,000 capacity, so how many concerts can fill that up per year? When you own the stadium it is very important to ensure that in 365 days you will have a minimum of 50 per cent of those with the stadium filled,” he continued.
“When we built the DC United Arena, we made sure that the stadium was designed not only for football, but also for concerts, for lacrosse, for college football and for rugby. We wanted to make sure the stadium would be filled up for a lot of days of the year.
“To share San Siro with AC Milan is good, because we have no such worries. But it is a matter of the strategy for each club. We are having discussions with AC Milan at this moment to see what their plans are.
“Of course, as a big club you want a stadium. But it is a matter of filling the stadium.”