The Verona Arena is set to receive €18 million to be upgraded for Milan Cortina 2026 ©Getty Images

Milan Cortina 2026 has committed €18 million (£15.9 million/$20 million) towards a project to upgrade the Verona Arena, which is expected to host Winter Olympics Closing and Paralympics Opening Ceremonies.

A first inspection of the Roman amphitheatre, which dates back to 30AD, was held last month to assess work required for the Games in 2026.

Milan Cortina 2026 officials joined Verona Mayor Damiano Tommasi on the inspection, which identified accessibility as a key issue.

According to Sport & Société, the Organising Committee has allocated €18 million from its budget to deliver the upgrades required to the Verona Arena.

In addition to improving accessibility, the funding is set to be used to install a high-performance video surveillance system at the Arena and its surroundings.

The Verona Arena hosts around 22,000 people for opera performances ©Getty Images
The Verona Arena hosts around 22,000 people for opera performances ©Getty Images

Milan Cortina 2026 has been billed as the most widespread Winter Olympics and Paralympics of all time, covering an area of 22,000 square kilometres across the north of Italy.

Verona Arena is around 160 kilometres from Milan, where the iconic San Siro stadium is set to host the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony on February 6 2026.

The Winter Olympics are due to conclude with the Ceremony at the Verona Arena on February 22 2026, with the Winter Paralympics starting at the same venue on March 6.

It has previously been used for major opera performances with a capacity of around 22,000, far short of what would be expected for an Olympic or Paralympic Games Ceremony.

Finalising the venue masterplan has been identified as the "key focus" for Milan Cortina 2026 in the coming months.