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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

How does sharing a stadium work for the AC Milan and Inter fans at San Siro?

Two of the biggest fanbases in Europe have to share a stadium every week. Here’s how things work.

Update:
Two of the biggest fanbases in Europe have to share a stadium every week. Here’s how things work.
ALESSANDRO GAROFALOREUTERS

Inter versus Milan, red versus blue, one half of Italy’s second largest city against the other. The historic Derby della Madonnina is one that captivates sport fans the world over and this year we’ve got the two teams facing off against each other for a place in the final of Europe’s most prestigious competition. Milan will host Inter at San Siro in the Champions League semi-final second leg, after the nerazzurri thrashed their city rivals 2-0 in the first part of the tie.

Although the historical complexities of why the two teams share a ground are huge parts of the mystery and intrigue between the rivalry, the actual day-to-day running of the stadium is arguably even more unique in the world of football. The stadium has three dressing rooms, two separate entrances for Inter and Milan, as well as many other one-off design features that come with shared living quarters. As for the fans, however, the process of claiming your own seat is a lot more complicated.

Milan's stadium is unique both in terms of its use and design.
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Milan's stadium is unique both in terms of its use and design.MIGUEL MEDINAAFP

How does it work for fans?

The first thing to say is that the two sides never play at home on the same weekend, meaning that the two sets of fans only cross paths at the ground in big numbers when there is a derby game either domestically or, in this case, in European competition. In the case of a derby, the home fans receive a much larger ticket allocation than the away crowd, and in the case of this year’s Champions League, the first game will see Milan as the home team for the first leg and Inter as the home team a week later.

Where the fans sit also depends on if the game is ‘home’ or ‘away’, as both sides have different away sections in the ground. If Inter are the ‘home team,’ Milan’s away fans sit in the Curva Nord (Green), whereas Inter’s away fans tend to be placed in the Curva Sud (Blue) stand. Check out the photo above for a better view of who sits where.

The problems with getting a ticket for the game

Italian media outlet La Repubblica reported that 2 million people applied for a ticket to the game this week. To put that into context, around 1.3 million people live in the city of Milan. Not everyone that wanted a ticket may have got one, but what is certain is that we are in for two utterly historic games of football in the 80,000-seater San Siro, where the atmosphere is surely going to be something that adds a special flavour and tension to the occasion.