St. Jakob Park
|St. Jakob Park|
The stadium from a bird's eye view.
The old houses in the front right are the remains of the medieval infirmary St. Jakob.
|place||St. Jakobs-Strasse 395 4052 Basel , Switzerland
|owner||St. Jakob-Park Stadium Cooperative|
|opening||April 25, 1954 (old station)
March 15, 2001 (new station)
Switzerland - Germany 3: 5 (1954)
FC Basel - Lausanne-Sports 0: 0 (2001)
|demolition||1998 (old stadium)|
|costs||approx. CHF 250 million|
|architect||Herzog & de Meuron|
|capacity||56,000 seats (old stadium)
38,512 seats (new stadium)
|playing area||105 m × 68 m|
The St. Jakob-Park (locally "Joggeli" called) is the largest football stadium in Switzerland and home of FC Basel . Six games of the 2008 European Football Championship took place here. The stadium has a capacity of 38,512 spectators. It is a UEFA category 4 stadium, the highest classification of the European Football Association.
The name St. Jakob has its origin in the medieval settlement of St. Jakob an der Birs , the beginnings of which can be traced back to the 11th century. Joggeli is the Basel German dialect form of Jakob in diminutive .
St. Jakob-Park is located in the east of the city of Basel , at the southeasternmost point of the St. Alban district . The stadium is located directly on the canton border with the canton of Basel-Landschaft . In the east the area borders on the municipality of Muttenz , in the south on Münchenstein . The borders form the middle of the Birs , or the adjacent St. Jakobs-Strasse.
Connection to traffic
St. Jakob-Park is located at the Basel-St. Jakob on the A2 motorway , which runs north of the stadium, and is thus connected to the national and international road network. There is also an exit of the same name from the H18 road in the southeast.
The south adjoining St. Jakobs-Strasse leads in the east to Muttenz and in the west towards the city center. In the south, the Brüglingerstrasse to the west of the stadium leads to the Dreispitz industrial area and the Wolf freight yard . The same road leads north into the Lehenmatt area of the Breite district . To the east of the stadium, Birsstrasse leads from St. Jakobs-Strasse to the north, also towards Lehenmatt.
The stadium is connected to the Swiss railway network through its own stop, the Basel St. Jakob train station on the Hauenstein route. The single-track station has a platform and is only used on special occasions. It is not used in regular traffic and is therefore not part of the Basel S-Bahn .
The two local transport companies Basler Verkehrs-Betriebe (BVB) and Baselland Transport AG (BLT) serve St. Jakob-Park by tram and bus. The line 14 of the Baslerstrasse train , operated by the BVB, operates the stadium with the station St. Jakob . The Schänzli station also existed a short distance away until 2009, and this has been closed.
Line 14 connects the stadium with the communities of Muttenz and Pratteln on the one hand, and with Basel city center on the other. The bus lines 36 (BVB) and 37 (BLT) also serve the stadium and enable connections in the direction of Dreispitz, the Bruderholz area, Bottmingen , numerous Basel quarters and the Badischer Bahnhof .
At major events, both BVB and BLT also use extra-scheduled tram and bus courses in order to be able to handle the transport of spectators.
The entire St. Jakob-Park is managed and coordinated by FC Basel 1893.
The stadium, which was built by architects Herzog & de Meuron from 1999 to 2001, had a capacity of 31,539 seats when it opened (with standing instead of seats in the «Muttenzerkurve»: 33,433). The stadium was expanded in 2006 and 2007 for the 2008 European Football Championship . A third tier was created (gallery, sector G) above the existing sector C. Thanks to this expansion, the current capacity is 38,512 seats. For the European Championship, additional seats were installed behind the last rows of the first and second tiers in order to achieve a higher capacity. This meant that 39,730 spectators were able to watch the six European Championship games in Basel.
It is unusual that the main stand (sector A) is not separated from the playing field by any obstacle. In the other sectors, an advertising banner and a one-meter-high fence separate the spectators from the field. Only in front of the «Muttenzerkurve» (sector D) and the guest sector were a high fence erected after the riots on May 13, 2006. In addition, there is a net behind each of the two goals that catches objects that are thrown towards the playing field.
The lighting in the new gallery is also unusual. The principle for this shows parallels to the Munich Allianz Arena , which was planned by the same architectural duo, as it is also possible here to adapt the lighting to the respective events. At home games of FC Basel, the gallery shines in the club colors red and blue. If, on the other hand, the Swiss national football team plays in the Joggeli , the gallery is almost completely illuminated in red with a large Swiss cross .
Public infrastructure in St. Jakob-Park
There is also a large shopping center and the “Tertianum” senior citizens' residence in St. Jakob-Park. In addition to retail giants such as Manor , H&M , Ochsner-Sport and C&A , the shopping center also houses branches of well-known clothing brands, jewelry stores, several restaurants and cafés as well as branches of several telephone and internet providers. The FCB Museum is also in St. Jakob-Park.
Stadium from 1954
As early as 1919, athletes demanded an urban "central sports field" because the increase in plant gardens triggered by the First World War had led to an actual "sports field shortage" in Basel. In 1930 the city became active and bought an area of 307,000 square meters from the Christoph Merian Foundation in the Brüglinger Ebene in order to set up several sports, play and festival fields. The construction of a large football stadium (former parlance: "fighting stadium") was also planned to do justice to the increasing popularity of this sport. This should, however, be located in an adjacent area north of St. Jakobs-Strasse, because the canton border runs along this, and the expected taxable sales should occur in the Basel-City area.
The work began in 1937 and was financed from the Basler Arbeitsrappens Fund. After the outbreak of the Second World War , work on the stadium was first reduced and finally stopped completely after the introduction of cement rationing in 1942. At this point in time, the area of the planned stadium had been leveled and the earth wall for the standing ramps had been raised, but apart from the west gate, no buildings had yet been erected. The material for backfilling the playing field and the spectator ramps came from the excavation of harbor basin 2, another work centre project that was being carried out at the same time.
After the war, work on the stadium was not resumed for the time being. Only when FIFA 1948 awarded the 1954 World Cup to Switzerland did things get moving again. The Grand Council (the Basel cantonal parliament) confirmed its decision of 1937. A referendum was taken against this loan decision , and on 22/23. November 1952, the stadium construction at the urn was narrowly rejected.
A small group around the director of the Sport-Toto-Gesellschaft Ernst Thommen then decided to try to build the stadium on a private basis and founded the “St. Jakob Football Stadium Cooperative” for this purpose. The financing was secured with a loan from the Sport-Toto-Gesellschaft for CHF 1.5 million. The authorities supported the project, so that on June 2, 1953, the building rights contract was signed with the city of Basel and construction work could begin. On April 25, 1954, after less than a year of construction and two months before the World Cup, the stadium was inaugurated with an international match between Switzerland and Germany (3: 5). The stadium was designed for 56,000 spectators (8,200 seats and 47,800 standing places, although the number of standing places was naturally not fixed and was subsequently exceeded a few times).
As part of the World Cup from June 17 to 30, 1954, six games took place in Basel and were attended by a total of 242,000 spectators. Despite the very tight time frame for construction, the stadium did not reveal any serious defects and the modern facility was widely praised.
|June 17, 1954||Group 4||England||Belgium||4: 4 n.V. (3: 3, 2: 1)|
|June 19, 1954||Group 3||Uruguay||Scotland||7: 0 (2: 0)|
|June 20, 1954||Group 2||Hungary||Germany||8: 3 (3: 1)|
|June 23, 1954||Group 4, playoff||Italy||Switzerland||1: 4 (0: 1)|
|June 26, 1954||Quarter finals||England||Uruguay||2: 4 (1: 2)|
|June 30, 1954||Semi-final||Germany||Austria||6: 1 (1: 0)|
After the World Cup, what the skeptics had feared happened: the stadium sank into dreariness. The Basel football clubs showed no interest and continued to play on their traditional pitches, which fully met their needs. The St. Jakob Stadium became the official home stadium of the first division club FC Concordia (and remained that way until the end of 1998). In addition to the first division matches of FC Concordia, eight international matches took place from 1955 to 1967. The income urgently needed for the maintenance of the stadium was generated with non-football events, ranging from greyhound races to the Federal Gymnastics Festival (1959) to the World Field Handball Championship (1963).
In 1965, FC Basel signed Helmut Benthaus as a player-coach. This was followed by a sporting rise, which also led to increasing public interest. The ancestral Landhof soon became too small for FC Basel's home games, so that FC Basel played some of its home games in the St. Jakob Stadium at first, and then from 1967 onwards. FC Basel played their last game at Landhof in autumn 1967 against Young Fellows Zurich (1-0). The continued success of FC Basel (including 7 championship titles between 1967 and 1980) led to a football euphoria in Basel, which was also reflected in the finances of the stadium association. So the stadium could be modernized and adapted to the increased requirements and regulations.
In the 1980s, things went downhill again with FC Basel, and in 1988 he was relegated to the National League B. In connection with this, public interest decreased noticeably, with corresponding financial consequences. So other sources of income had to be tapped. It was a stroke of luck that the concert agency “Good News” was looking for a venue for a Rolling Stones concert at the time . The concert took place on July 15, 1982 in the St. Jakob Stadium in front of 54,000 spectators; it was the first open-air concert of this size in Switzerland. Further major concerts by well-known world stars followed, a total of 35 by 1996.
The new stadium from 2001
In 1987 people began to think about tearing down the aging stadium and replacing it with a new one. A project was worked out, whereby a new, non-football commercial use of the adjoining rooms was also planned as a financial pillar. In 1990, the stadium cooperative decided to build a new one, but the canton refused to change the zoning plan because criticism of the specific project was expressed. A revised project received the necessary approvals in 1994, but it was withdrawn by the stadium cooperative because doubts about profitability arose.
Then a general contractor from Bern offered to build a turnkey stadium at a fixed price. In addition to the now undisputed use of offices and shopping areas, the project also envisaged a retirement home as a surprising new element. The project was convincing and in 1996 the stadium cooperative placed the order. With the design of the project, which is now entitled «St. Jakob-Park », the architects Herzog & de Meuron were commissioned. It provided 32,500 covered seats or 38,500 seats and standing places.
The old stadium was demolished at the end of 1998 and the new stadium was opened on March 15, 2001 with the game Basel – Lausanne (0-0). The official opening ceremony took place on September 7th with a concert by Bryan Adams and the Lovebugs . During the construction period, FC Basel played its home games in the Schützenmatte stadium .
The sponsorship of the stadium was also reorganized for the new stadium. The real estate owner and responsible for administration and maintenance is still the stadium cooperative, which in 2003 changed its name from “Genossenschaft Fußballstadion St. Jakob” to “Genossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob-Park”. The stadium is operated by the newly founded “Basel United Stadion-Management AG”. On September 28, 2013 the press reported that FC Basel was taking over the tasks of “Basel United” and that the latter was to be dissolved.
For the European Championships in 2008, the grandstand on the railway embankment was increased from two to three floors. During the championship, the seats were also densified, so that the stadium could accommodate 42,500 spectators during this time (all seats). Today (2013) the stadium holds 38,107 spectators (seats only) or 39,107 spectators (seated and standing, 4843 of which are standing) at football matches, and 60,000 spectators (seated and standing) at concerts.
The plain on the left bank of the Birs south of St. Jakob-Strasse , consisting of alluvial land of the Birs, is called " Brüglinger Ebene " after the "Brüglingen" estate, which emerged from an old hamlet. In 1259, the Brüglinger hamlet and mill, which was then owned by the Basel Dompropstei, was mentioned for the first time. Today on this level there are sports facilities, a garden pool and the "Merian gardens".
" St. Jakob " was the name of a medieval quarantine settlement outside the city of Basel. The place is located on the northwest corner of the Brüglinger Plain, but is no longer counted to it. A river crossing over the Birs had existed at this point since the 12th century at the latest, probably with a customs house. In the 13th century, the city hospital moved the "Siechenhaus" (the nursing home for lepers, that is, for lepers ) in front of the city. The name " St. Jakob an der Birs " has been documented since 1418. The football stadium is right next to the preserved buildings of the old settlement.
“Joggeli” is the name of both the stadium and the place in general by the people of Basel. "Joggi" is the Basel dialect expression for Jakob, "Joggeli" the diminutive.
Riots on May 13, 2006
On May 13, 2006, there was considerable rioting during the decisive championship game between FC Basel and FC Zurich . After the opponents from Zurich scored the winning goal in stoppage time and thus won the championship, supporters of both clubs fought hard both inside and outside the stadium. Only after several hours did the police manage to get the situation under control using rubber shot and tear gas .
European Under-21 Football Championship 2002
In 2002 St. Jakob-Park was the main venue for the U-21 European Championship , which was won by the Czech Republic. The following games took place in Basel:
European Football Championship 2008
On the occasion of the EM 2008 jointly organized by Switzerland and Austria , the St. Jakob-Park was the main venue in Switzerland. In it, the opening and two further group games (each with participation from Switzerland), two quarter-finals and one semi-final were played.
|June 7, 2008||Preliminary round||Switzerland||Czech Republic||0: 1 (0: 0)|
|June 11, 2008||Preliminary round||Switzerland||Turkey||1: 2 (1: 0)|
|June 15, 2008||Preliminary round||Switzerland||Portugal||2: 0 (0: 0)|
|June 19, 2008||Quarter finals||Portugal||Germany||2: 3 (1: 2)|
|June 21, 2008||Quarter finals||Netherlands||Russia||1: 3 a.d. (1: 1, 0: 0)|
|June 25, 2008||Semi-final||Germany||Turkey||3: 2 (1: 1)|
While the old St. Jakob Stadium was also used every year for large music performances and concerts, open-air concerts in the new St. Jakob Park are rather rare. Due to the smaller capacity of the new stadium, concerts are mostly held in Zurich or in the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern .
In the St. Jakob-Park or in the old St. Jakob-Stadion, the following artists have been guests:
- St. Jakob football stadium in Basel . In: Das Werk: Architektur und Kunst . tape 41 , 1954, pp. 389-393 .
- FC Basel 1983 takes over the marketing of the Basel United stadium. fcb.ch
- Eugen A. Meier , Hans Bauer: The Basler Arbeitsrappen 1936–1984. ISBN 3-7643-1612-8 .
- The information on the history of the old and new stadiums is based, with few exceptions, mainly on the book Kraft der Visionen , which the stadium cooperative published on its 50th anniversary (without ISBN).
- For FC Basel there was also the fact that the Landhof was only reopened in 1952 after two years of extensive renovation.
- The Swiss 1st league roughly corresponds to the German regional league.
- After the accident at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on April 15, 1989, FIFA and UEFA banned standing room in football stadiums. The elimination of standing room was criticized by the fans. The dilemma was solved in such a way that there was still standing room on part of the grandstand (the “Muttenzer curve”), but seats were temporarily installed for international games.
- According to personal information from Basel United