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Zurich set for new football stadium

Zurich is set for a new football stadium after voters in the Swiss city gave plans the green light in a referendum yesterday (Sunday).

The 18,000-capacity stadium will be built on the site of the former Hardturm ground – which was demolished in 2007 – and will be shared by Swiss Super League clubs Grasshoppers and FC Zurich. The Hardturm stadium was only used by Grasshoppers.

The new facility will become the only purpose-built football stadium in Zurich. The city serves as the headquarters of FIFA, football’s global governing body.

The Reuters news agency reported that 54 per cent of voters in Sunday’s referendum supported the building of the stadium.

The development comes after a similar referendum was rejected by voters in 2013. That facility would have been built using public money but the new ground is set to be privately financed.

FC Zurich and Grasshoppers currently share the Letzigrund stadium, which is primarily an athletics facility. It is hoped the new stadium will provide a more intimate experience for supporters of the two clubs.

The project has been backed by real estate company HRS and the stadium could be ready by 2022.

FC Zurich president Ancillo Canepa said: “With great pleasure I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Zurich for their positive vote. I would also like to thank HRS, which has shown a great deal of passion for this project. I would also like to express my gratitude to the city council and the various local councils, without whose support this voting success would not have been possible.

“This ‘yes’ to a football stadium finally opens the long-awaited prospects for the future. Of course, we now hope that the realisation will not be unnecessarily complicated by arbitrary obstacles.”

Grasshoppers president Stephan Anliker added: “The great commitment that the project partners, the entire club and especially our fans have been working tirelessly for in recent months, has paid off. For that I would like to express only the biggest thanks.”

Image: FC Zurich