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Design & Development

FC Sion 2030 stadium project presented

Featured image credit: FC Sion

Swiss Challenge League football club FC Sion has joined forces with local authorities to present a CHF510m (£468.5m/€545.2m/$597.5m) project which will incorporate either the construction of a new stadium or the redevelopment of the Stade de Tourbillon.

FC Sion, which is currently top of the second-tier Challenge League following relegation from the Super League last season, yesterday (Thursday) presented the ‘FC Sion 2030’ vision alongside the Canton of Valais, City of Sion and Valais Football Association (AVF).

FC Sion president, Christian Constantin, has been at the helm of the club since saving it from financial collapse in 2003, but has recently hinted at withdrawing his backing amid frustration at development prospects, especially relating to infrastructure. Indeed, Constantin had ruled out extending an operating deal with the City for the Tourbillon which is due to expire at the end of this year.

The project presented yesterday aims to establish a canton-wide football academy system, a stadium with around 15,000 seats, along with associated infrastructure such as 600 apartments, which will help finance the venture.

The document signed yesterday details the missions of each of the four parties and elaborates the

first outlines of a financial plan combining public and private funds. The Stade de Tourbillon, which was last month named as one of Switzerland’s venues for the staging of UEFA Women’s Euro 2025, first opened in 1968 and was redeveloped in 1986.

The four parties are exploring either the redevelopment of the current stadium, or the development of a new venue in the same area. The future stadium is envisioned to enable FC Sion to increase its revenues and be designed to be exploited throughout the year and not just during football matches.

According to budgetary availability, the Canton is ready to study a financial contribution in the form of a grant up to a maximum of 30% of eligible costs, with the stadium side of the project expected to come in at CHF150m.

For its part, the City of Sion would come into play for the development and presentation of a private stadium project, and would make land available on the Tourbillon site. It has pledged to continue the maintenance of the current stadium until the completion of a new project.

Olympique des Alpes SA, FC Sion’s ownership group, would contribute to the tune of 30% of project costs (academy and stadium), with a ceiling set at CHF50m.

The letter of intent sets a deadline of December 31 to achieve the signature of a contract which allows the four parties to move forward in the processes which alone, they state, will formally determine the commitments made and give them legal force. It provides for the commissioning of the football academy in 2026 and the opening of the stadium in 2029.

Constantin said yesterday: “I am delighted to see that things are moving forward. This is not a project over a few seasons. We are talking about leaving a legacy of infrastructure for the next 60 years. We will study both variants. However, I think that building a new stadium makes more sense.

“The stadium of the future must be able to quickly adapt to any type of event, in a fluid manner. Recent constructions are sometimes already outdated and we want to avoid that.”

Philippe Favre, State Councillor for Valais, added to SRF: “Football inspires women, men and young people. We have to put the right infrastructure in place. And the Stade de Tourbillon is simply too old in its current form.”