Zürich has voted in favour of a new football stadium, which will be the new home of both FC Zürich and Grasshopper Club Zürich.
53.8% said yes to the proposal, which will see the city’s two clubs move into the Stadion Zürich. It will hold 18,000 people and will be used instead of the Stadion Letzigrund, where both clubs currently play.
According to Swiss newspaper Blick, the new stadium should be finished by 2022, ready to move into for the 2022/23 season. Known as Projekt Ensemble, a co-operative housing estate and two residential skyscrapers will be built as well as the stadium.
Zürich and Grasshoppers currently share the Letzigrund, which is also used for athletics and concerts. It holds 25,000 for football matches and has been their home stadium since 2007, since leaving the Hardturm that was closed and demolished in 2008.
The old Hardturm was the home of Grasshoppers for almost 90 years, and will be the site of the new stadium.
The Stadion Zürich is 15 years in the making, with initial plans for a new stadium proposed in 2003. However, delays due to legal procedures and rejection by voters have meant that the new stadium is only being approved today.
Over 67,000 people voted in favour, with 58,000 voting against the proposal. Zürich saw a voter turnout of 55.9% for the referendum.
I’m really happy to see that the proposal was accepted. I haven’t been to the Letzigrund before, although I will definitely make sure I do before it is too late. However, you can see that the stadium just simply isn’t built for football.
Sure it’s a nice stadium, and it is suited for athletics and concerts. However, the Letzigrund is not a football stadium. The fans are way too far away from the pitch, and it kills the atmosphere. Both clubs’ matches have thousands of empty seats every week, and that is probably a result of the stadium’s layout.
I am personally looking forward to this new stadium, and can’t wait to go see a match there. It is specifically built for football, which is what both FC Zürich and Grasshopper Club Zürich needed.
When you look at the other stadiums in the Swiss Super League, it is obvious that the Letzigrund doesn’t fit in. However the Stadion Zürich does, and it is a huge step in the right direction for the two clubs and Swiss football.