A design called "The Cathedral" has been approved for Milan's new stadium ©Populous

A design called "The Cathedral" has been selected to replace the existing San Siro stadium in Milan - the planned venue for the Opening Ceremony of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.

The project has been unveiled by football giants AC Milan and Inter Milan - who both call the stadium home.

La Gazzetta dello Sport said that both clubs were aiming to play home matches at the new stadium by 2027, after the current San Siro is partially demolished following the curtain-raiser of Milan Cortina 2026.

Organisers of the Winter Olympics confirmed to insidethegames that the Opening Ceremony would take place at the existing San Siro.

The new stadium has been designed by global firm Populous ©Populous
The new stadium has been designed by global firm Populous ©Populous

The Cathedral has been designed by global design firm Populous, which has previously overseen projects such as Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

Populous also worked on the Olympic Stadiums for Sydney 2000 and London 2012, and Yankee Stadium in New York.

It has based The Cathedral's design on two of Milan's most famous buildings - the Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

Populous has promised the "greatest stadium in Europe" with a "bespoke seating bowl" bringing fans closer to the action.

A "sunlit galleria" will circle the stadium which will feature a glass façade. 

The identities of both clubs will be incorporated into the stadium as the outer colour scheme will flick between the red of AC Milan and the blue of Inter, depending on who is playing.

Twenty-two acres of green space will surround the stadium, which Populous said would be the most sustainable venue in Europe.

The Cathedral, which has been tipped to have a capacity of around 60,000, has been chosen over another project called "The Rings of Milano".

In March, the new stadium hit a stumbling block due to a dispute between Inter and Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala.

Sala said the project would not go ahead until Inter "clarified their corporate position" but the club hit back at his "offensive" and "disrespectful" comments.

"The new San Siro will be the most beautiful stadium in the world for its strong identity and recognisability," said AC Milan President Paolo Scaroni. 

"An attractive arena, accessible and sustainable for the city of Milan that will facilitate the growth of the clubs and their global competitiveness."

The existing San Siro stadium is due to be demolished ©Getty Images
The existing San Siro stadium is due to be demolished ©Getty Images

Alessandro Antonello, the corporate chief executive at Inter, added: "The new stadium of Milan will be in an extra-contemporary green area that can be lived all year round. 

"The new district for sport and leisure and its 50,000 square metre park will make San Siro the go-to neighbourhood for sport and entertainment."  

Both clubs are expected to share the costs of the project.

"The Cathedral is set to become one of the most iconic stadiums in the world," said Christopher Lee, the managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Populous.

"It will be a modern home to legendary clubs and will become the heart of a new neighbourhood. 

"It will celebrate the cultural heritage of Milan and it will be enjoyed by the Milanese population for many generations to come. 

"A stadium of Milan and for Milan."