YES TO ZURICH FOOTBALL STADIUM
The electorate of the city of Zurich has finally said yes to a genuine football stadium. Grasshopper Club Zurich is delighted about this decision and thanks the population.
It was a long route to reach this memorable day. All the more delighted is Grasshopper Club Zurich: "Together with our partners and private investors, we are extremely pleased about this commitment of the population of the city of Zurich to Project Ensemble," said GC President Stephan Anliker and added: "The huge commitment shown tirelessly by the project partners, the entire club and, in particular, also our fans in recent months has paid off. I wish to express only my sincerest gratitude."
For more than 10 years, Zurich has lacked a genuine football stadium. In 2008 the old Hardturm stadium was demolished, and two years before that the old Letzigrund venue. Subsequently, two stadium projects failed due to objections and later due to a very narrow no at the ballot box. "With today's yes, Zurich is taking another, very important step towards implementing a genuine football stadium," said Anliker and added: "For Zurich's football enthusiasts, this also means more fun from football and sport, because matches will be held in a genuine football stadium in the future."
Grasshopper Club Zürich along with FC Zurich, the General Construction Cooperative of Zurich (ABZ), and the principals HRS and Credit Suisse thanks all citizens of the city of Zurich. The board, cross-party approval discernable across the population shows that the private financing and balanced mix of a stadium, a cooperative estate and two residential and commercial high-rise buildings convinced the people of Zurich. "It was worth pushing for an extremely objective and transparent presentation of the facts very consistently from the outset," said the project's spokesman, Hans Klaus of KMES Partner. The vote is also to be seen as a sign that the population does not want radical solutions in district and urban planning, but prefers fair and balanced compromises.
For GC as a football club of the city of Zurich, the result is of huge significance. "With today's yes, all stakeholders – be it investors, partners, players and, of course, the club itself – now have genuine prospects again," said Stephan Anliker with delight and added: "The future stadium will offer us new options commercially with several hundred employees, which are crucial for our long-term business future and therefore also for top and grassroots sports levels."
With the approval, 174 affordable flats can also be built on the Hardturm premises. This is a very important project, said the President of the General Construction Cooperative of Zurich (ABZ), Nathanea Elte. This will allow increasing the share of not-for-profit flats in District 5 significantly, which is the will of the population and of the city government.
For Credit Suisse, which will implement the two residential towers via its investment fund, allowing to cross-finance the stadium indirectly, the project makes an important contribution to football in Zurich. It considers the decision of Zurich's electorate to be a mandate to work with the project partners towards implementing the project as quickly as possible.
For HRS Real Estate AG (HRS), which is responsible for the development and implementation, the yes of Zurich city's electorate provides planning certainty, even if only a further, albeit a very important interim step, has been taken. "The next task will be to submit the design plan. Objections may be possible. We call on the opponents to be reasonable and fair and to respect the will of the people that was clearly shown today," said Martin Kull, CEO and owner of HRS.
For Grasshopper Club Zurich, 25 November is a very good day. Finally, Zurich has taken its opportunity of getting a genuine football stadium. GC wishes to thank the electorate of the city of Zurich for this and, in particular, extend its gratitude to its fans for their outstanding support.