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Design & Development

EV Zug to lead expansion of Bossard Arena

Images: EV Zug & City of Zug

Bossard Arena, the home of Swiss National League ice hockey club EV Zug (EVZ), is set to be expanded through a project that will be financed by the team.

The City of Zug, Kunsteisbahn Zug (KEB) and EVZ have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance a venue that first opened in 2010. The general conditions of the MoU call for the City to remain the owner of the arena, while KEB becomes a new tenant of the venue, operating it on the City’s behalf.

EVZ remains a subtenant of the KEB and will realise and finance the expansion as the main user. This means that no public money will be required for the expansion. Bossard Arena currently has a capacity of 7,200, but EVZ has long called for this to be enhanced to meet its growing ambitions. In terms of hospitality provision, the venue is currently ranked the second worst amongst Swiss ice hockey arenas.

For sporting and economic reasons, EVZ is said to be dependent on expanding the spectator and hospitality capacities of the Bossard Arena. The club has therefore agreed to carry out the expansion itself as a tenant at its own expense. This will involve investment of CHF36m (£32.3m/€36.2m/$38.2m), according to the feasibility study. 

Areas for development marked in blue

Zug’s Mayor, André Wicki, said: “The city council is fully convinced that the agreement reached is a goal-oriented solution. Together with the EVZ and the KEB, the city council has implemented the political demands and retained the options for action in the future.”

The redevelopment will focus on the north and south ends of the arena, along with its associated training hall. The arena’s capacity will increase from 7,200 to around 9,000 seats, with fan catering options significantly improved.

To support the financing, the arena naming rights, currently held by local logistics company Bossard Group, will be marketed by EVZ from July 1, 2025. The timeline for the project envisions that a building permit be issued in 2024, with construction running across 2025 to 2027. The new-look arena is planned to open in time for the start of the 2027 domestic ice hockey season.

The striking of the MoU comes after EVZ last week said it would be the first club in Switzerland to install LED boards on the edge of the ice at the Bossard Arena. Commenting on the venue expansion plan, EVZ CEO Patrick Lengwiler said: “The City of Zug built the Bossard Arena – this gave the EVZ the opportunity to develop into one of the most successful clubs in Switzerland. 

“Thanks to the agreement reached, we can now push ahead with the necessary expansion of the arena. The tenant fit-out model is the right way to do this. We can invest according to our needs, while the city remains the owner and does not have to use taxpayers’ money.”