Swiss football club FC Sion has teamed up with local officials to offer an approx $904 million proposal that will include either the construction of a new stadium or the refurbishment of the Stade de Tourbillon.
FC Sion, which is presently in the second-tier Challenge League after being relegated from the Super League last season, unveiled the ‘FC Sion 2030’ vision with the Canton of Valais, City of Sion, and Valais Football Association (AVF).
FC Sion president Christian Constantin has been in charge of the club since it was saved from financial ruin in 2003, although he has lately hinted at abandoning his support due to dissatisfaction with development possibilities, particularly in terms of infrastructure. Constantin had ruled out extending the Tourbillon’s operational agreement with the City, which is set to expire at the end of the year.
The concept intends to construct a canton-wide football academy system, a stadium with around 15,000 seats, and supporting infrastructure such as 600 residences to help fund the initiative.
Constantin commented on the future of the club and its infrastructure:
“I am delighted to see that things are moving forward,” he stated via press release.
“This is not a project over a few seasons. We are talking about leaving a legacy of infrastructure for the next 60 years. We will study both variants. However, I think that building a new stadium makes more sense.
“The stadium of the future must be able to quickly adapt to any type of event, in a fluid manner. Recent constructions are sometimes already outdated and we want to avoid that.”
The letter of intent establishes a deadline of December 31 for the signature of a contract, allowing the four parties to proceed with the processes that, they claim, would legally decide the promises made and give them legal effect. The football academy will be commissioned in 2026, and the stadium will open in 2029.
A project of this capacity and cost is almost unheard of for a club outside the top flight of football in any country, even if it may be a powerhouse club in the nation such as FC Sion. The shock relegation last season was a setback for the club, however this move puts them back in the spotlight of Swiss football.
Playing in the first division again will be crucial for the club to ensure they have the fans and city on their side and believing in the team behind the ambitious project.
FC Sion will look to gain promotion back into the first flight of Swiss football and stay there for the future after planning such a costly revamp of the club’s home facility.