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Volume 10 No. 22
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Planned Zurich Football Stadium Raises Eyebrows In Switzerland

Zurich's newly planned CHF 230M ($247M) football stadium has led to criticism and astonishment in other Swiss cities, according to Peter B. Birrer of the NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG. The history of Zurich and its football stadium "is long, painful and expensive." The "millions pile up like nowhere else in Switzerland -- solely on the back of taxpayers." The recently presented "Hypodrom" project on the Hardturmareal (the selected area for the new stadium) will cost the public CHF 230M. In addition to the building expenses, the public "will also pay for the stadium's operation, which will cost a maximum of CHF 8.3M ($8.9M) annually." Looking at those numbers, "other Swiss cities rub their eyes in disbelief." Werner Müller, who was in charge of the construction of the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel and the Stade de Suisse in Berne, said: "First of all, you have to able to afford spending CHF 230M. But if there is a place that can afford it, then it is Zurich with its economic power." In Geneva, where the stadium built for Euro 2008 has become an expensive burden, a source familiar with the Stade de Geneva asked: "Is money falling from the sky in Zurich?" Zurich, which is Switzerland's biggest and richest city, "is simply a special case" (NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG, 10/28).