Nouveau stade du FC Sion

Capacity15 000
Country Switzerland
ClubsFC Sion
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
CostCHF 510 M ($608.5 M)
Design Christian Constantin SA


Nouveau stade du FC Sion – design description

When was the concept for a new stadium for FC Sion presented?

On December 5, 2023, renderings of a new stadium for FC Sion appeared in L'Illustré. The author of the concept is Christian Constantin, owner and president of the club. The new stadium is to be built near the existing Stade de Tourbillon and will hold 15,000 spectators or 25,000 in case of concerts. Characteristic elements of the new stadium are to be a permanent stage located behind one of the goals and a terraced main stand.

Who is the developer of the new stadium concept for FC Sion?

Christian Constantin was president of FC Sion back in the 1990s. He took up the post again in 2003 and has held it ever since. Constantin formerly played football himself (as a goalkeeper) and is also an architect and runs his own architecture studio, Christian Constantin SA.

As president of FC Sion, Constantin has become famous for a number of controversial actions, including very frequent changes of the team's coach; on the other hand, the team has achieved quite a lot of success during his tenure.

What were the previous attempts to build a new stadium for FC Sion?

Constantin had long dreamed of building a new stadium for the club. In 2004, he proposed building a new facility in nearby Martigny, where he himself comes from. In 2007, he conceived a plan to build a stadium together with a shopping center in Riddes, located between Martigny and Sion (about 15 km west of Sion). Neither of these plans lived to see fruition, but the local authorities did allocate funds for the renovation of Stade de Tourbillon.

Is the construction of a new stadium for FC Sion necessary?

Stade de Tourbillon opened in 1968 and, with over 50 years of age, it is one of the oldest venues in Swiss football. Although its condition allows it to continue to be used without major problems, a modern, 21st century facility would increase the comfort and commercial opportunities. The construction of a new stadium would also be part of a trend (new facilities have been built in recent years in Lausanne, Schaffhausen and Lucerne, among others).

What were the circumstances behind the new stadium vision for FC Sion?

At the beginning of 2023, Constantin began to send signals that he intended to leave the club in the summer of 2024. Shortly afterwards, however, he came out with a proposal to build a new stadium. The new facility was to hold 15,000 spectators and cost 120 million Swiss francs. Together with the planned training center, 150 million francs were needed for the investment.

Constantin declared an own contribution of 50 million francs. A further 50 million was to come from loans and the missing 50 million was to be provided by the local authorities. If an agreement was reached with the local authorities, Constantin promised to stay on as club president and continue to invest in the team.

When renderings of the proposed stadium appeared in L'Illustré on December 5, 2023, the plans were already somewhat different. In addition to the stadium and the new academy, Constantin also intended to build 600 apartments (the academy and apartments were to be built in different locations than the stadium itself). All projects were to cost a total of 510 million francs (Constantin's declared contribution was 55 million francs).

The development investments are expected to generate 10 million francs of profit per year, thus supporting the operation of the club. As the cost of all investments is much higher than declared at the beginning of 2023, the implementation of the projects will require a significant effort in arranging the financial structure, and the contribution of the city and canton authorities would have to be significant.

At the same time, Constantin brought the matter almost to a head. He dismissed his earlier reports from the beginning of the year about leaving the club, stating that he still intends to be the president of FC Sion, but in the absence of an agreement and the failure of the new stadium project, he will no longer support the club to the extent that it can function at a professional level and the team will be relegated to the amateur competition.

Does the vision of a new stadium for FC Sion have a chance of coming true?

It is difficult to forecast to what extent Constantin's proposal has a realistic chance of being fulfilled. The construction of the stadium and other investments require a lot of money. The local authorities may also be very skeptical about funding a private development project.

On the other hand, having a modern stadium, as well as one of the top football teams in the country, competing for trophies and in European cups (as was the case during Christian Constantin's tenure, although the club was relegated to the second division in 2023), certainly raises the prestige of the city and the region as a whole, so negotiations will surely take place.

What does the concept of a new stadium for FC Sion entail?

The new stadium would stand right next to the existing Stade de Tourbillon, on a plot of land a piece north of it. The position of the pitch, which would be rotated by 90 degrees, is to be changed. The capacity of the new venue will be 15,000 people (25,000 in concert mode). The stands will be fully covered and clad externally with a façade.

A characteristic element of the concept created by Christian Constantin is the stage permanently located in the stand behind the north goal. Its semi-circular shape was inspired by the new concert arena in Las Vegas (Sphere). The main stand is also intended to be unique, featuring several levels of terraces in a fanciful, meandering form.

The stadium should meet high standards to host football matches at the highest level. The stadium will feature a red and white color scheme and stars, a reference to the symbolism associated with FC Sion, the city and the canton of Valais. The facility is also intended to serve as a venue for cultural events, such as the annual Sion sous les étoiles festival.

When might the new stadium for FC Sion be built?

A tentative date selected for when the new stadium could be ready is 2030. Once the new stadium is open, the old Stade de Tourbillon is to be demolished and the city could profit from the sale of the land.



Related news