|Category||Design awaiting implementation|
|Cost||CHF 70 M|
|Construction||01.2026 – 12.2027|
|Design||Herzog & de Meuron|
St. Jakob-Park – design description
Why is the modernisation of St. Jakob-Park planned?
The history of St. Jakob-Park (also known as Joggeli) in Basel dates back to before World War II, when construction of the first stadium began. It was not completed until after the war, just in time for the 1954 World Cup, which was held in Switzerland. The facility existed until the end of the 20th century, when it was demolished and replaced by a completely new football stadium with two-storey stands around the pitch between 1998 and 2001. Before Euro 2008, the stadium was further extended by adding a third tier of stands on the north side.
Two decades after the opening of the new arena, thought began to be given to further improving its infrastructure. Based on more than twenty years of experience and feedback from fans, a design was developed for the modernisation of the arena under the name STADION+, which was presented to the general public on August 29, 2022. The vision was prepared by the architectural office Herzog & de Meuron, the same studio responsible for the previous design from the turn of the century. The project is an initiative of stadium manager Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park, in collaboration with its main user, FC Basel.
What are the aims of the St. Jakob-Park modernisation project?
One of the main objectives of the modernisation is to create a new façade for the stadium, covered with photovoltaic panels. This will eliminate the existing, rather interesting façade, made up of numerous illuminated scales, which open and close to ventilate the interior. The new façade will be angled, creating more space behind the stands, which in turn will be used to extend the spectator platform located between the storeys.
Another change will be the separation of the entrance and exit routes to the stadium, as well as the separation of the corridors leading away supporters of the visiting teams to the visitor section. The hospitality offer will be significantly improved with the refurbishment of the existing boxes, as well as the construction of completely new ones in the upper part of the third floor of the stands on the north side. Additional spectator-accessible kiosks will be built on the extended platform between the floors, and there will be more toilets in the stadium. At the same time, the capacity of the stadium will be reduced, from 35 600 to 33 023 spectators; however, the venue will still remain the largest stadium in Switzerland.
The new photovoltaic-clad façade will provide approximately 1.2 million kWh of electricity per year and will use rainwater to irrigate the pitch, making the upgrade both environmentally and economically beneficial by reducing future maintenance costs. In addition, a new, futuristic exterior will change the appearance of the stadium and make it one of the most interesting landmarks in the city's skyline.
The widening of the spectator platform, the reorganisation of the entrance and exit routes to the stadium and the separation of visiting fans will improve the flow of people and safety, while reducing the number of police and security guards at events held at the venue. Along with improving the commercial offer, the changes are expected to have a positive impact on audience comfort and experience, making the venue more attractive and capable of attracting more events, as well as generating greater revenue.
When are the plans to upgrade St. Jakob-Park expected to be implemented?
The cost of the upgrade is expected to be around CHF 50 million, plus an additional 10-20 million for the modernisation and construction of new boxes (this work is to be funded by the club). CHF 5 million is to be provided by Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park, while public funding will be needed to raise the missing 45 million. The initiators hope to obtain the relevant permits and guarantees by 2025, so that design work could be carried out in the same year and the redevelopment would run from the beginning of 2026 to the end of 2027. During the construction phase, the facility should remain functional.
Switzerland: St. Jakob-Park to undergo an upgrade!
FC Basel's home ground will be redeveloped after more than 20 years since it was built. The architectural concept for the modernisation was prepared by the same studio responsible for the St. Jakob-Park design, Herzog & de Meuron. Work is not expected to begin until the second half of this decade.