St. Jakob-Park set for facelift under ‘STADION+’ vision

St. Jakob-Park, the home of Swiss Super League football club FC Basel, is set for significant redevelopment through a project that could cost up to CHF70m (£61.6m/€71.6m/$71.7m).

Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park, the body which owns the stadium nicknamed ‘Joggeli’, has launched the ‘STADION+’ project in an effort to revitalise the largest football venue in Switzerland.

St. Jakob-Park opened in March 2001, but officials have recognised that the requirements for a modern stadium of this size have changed substantially over the past two decades. “We are very pleased that the idea we presented a year ago has matured into this project,” said Andreas Kressler, president of Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park.

“STADION+ has one goal, namely ‘mee Joggeli für alli’. That means: more security, more sustainability, more encounters, more opportunities.”

Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park has developed the STADION+ vision in association with main tenant FC Basel and Herzog & de Meuron, the architecture company behind the original stadium. The redevelopment will be focused on sustainability under three key areas.

From an ecological perspective, STADION+ will seek to set new standards for the sustainable use of resources. The most noticeable part of the project will see the current façade replaced by an “attractive and low-maintenance, integrated building envelope”.

This also covers enlarged concourses, which offer the potential for various new uses. The new shell of the stadium is envisioned as an energy-producing surface consisting of photovoltaic modules. With this, the new St. Jakob-Park will cover its entire energy requirements. In addition, the enlarged roof area will be better utilised for rainwater recycling.

From a social perspective, STADION+ aims to turn the Joggeli into a new meeting place in a developing district of Basel. Fan flow throughout the stadium will be reimagined to improve the experience and meet today’s national and international safety requirements.

Economically, through the use of modern technologies and durable materials, officials believe maintenance costs will be reduced in the future. Measures to increase security in and around the stadium will also lead to reduction in these types of costs for the two cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, which are set to be leaned on to help finance the project.

The basic project is expected to cost CHF50m, but Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park will only be able to contribute CHF5m with the remainder requested from the two cantons. Meanwhile, FC Basel is financing expansion of the stadium’s hospitality areas, at an additional cost of between CHF10m and CHF20m.

The redevelopment is expected to see capacity at St. Jakob-Park reduce from 35,600 to 33,023 seats. Under the timeline that has been laid out, officials hope that work can be complete by December 2027.

FC Basel president, David Degen, said: “The FCB welcomes the planned changes, because St. Jakob-Park is slowly but surely getting on in years and needs a refresh in various areas to keep up with the current trends and meet the needs of spectators.

“Therefore, the club is very much looking forward to working with the stadium cooperative in the coming weeks and months with the further planning of this great project and to jointly clarify the details necessary for implementation.”

Jacques Herzog, founding partner of Herzog & de Meuron, added: “What used to be an area on the outskirts of the city is now a busy one and has become a neighbourhood centre. The sports town of St. Jakob, new residential quarters, and commercial activity – the surroundings of the Joggeli have developed incredibly.

“That’s why the STADION+ project is enormously important for the whole region. It turns Joggeli into a place that you like to go. A large place for everyone – for football fans as well as families with children.”

Images: Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park