Bossard Arena majestic expansion plans


Expansion of Bossard Arena in Zug Switzerland Image: EVZ Bossard Arena

The City of Zug in Switzerland, Kunsteisbahn Zug AG (KEB) (tour operator in Zug) and EVZ (the biggest ice hockey club of the region Zug) have agreed on financing the planned expansion of EVZ’s home ground – the Bossard Arena in Zug – as part of the ‘Keep Building’ project.

‘City of Zug’ stated that the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ signed by the above three project partners laid down the general conditions: The Bossard Arena remains the property of the City of Zug. The KEB becomes the new tenant of the City of Zug and will operate the Bossard Arena on their behalf based on a performance agreement. The EVZ remains a subtenant of the KEB and will finance the venue expansion plans as the main user. This translates into the fact that taxpayers’ money will not be required in the venue expansion exercise.

EV Zug is the biggest ice hockey club of the region Zug and was founded in the year 1967. The EVZ has been playing in the National League A since 1988 and won the Swiss Championship in the season 1997-1998. Nowadays, EVZ is one of the top national teams in Switzerland and reached eight times the playoff semi-finals.

The Bossard Arena is an indoor sporting arena located in Zug, Switzerland. The arena capacity stands at 7,200 and opened in the year 2010. It hosts indoor sporting events and serves as the residence of the EV Zug of the National League.

‘City of Zug’ further stated that the Bossard Arena, which opened in 2010, helped in the growth of EVZ. Today, the EVZ is a regionally anchored small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) boasting 120 full-time and 220 part-time positions, 35 apprenticeship positions, around 250 officials serving on an honorary basis, 350 children and young people in the junior departments, and an annual turnover of around CHF 30 million.

The arena is in dire need of expansion and also needs to offer more plush seats and spoilt-for-choice food to fans.

Remarked the City Councilor Urs Raschle, Head of the Finance Department, “The City Council understands that the Bossard Arena needs to be expanded and the above ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ will facilitate the same.

Memorandum Cornerstone

As per the memorandum, the EVZ has agreed to pick up the tab of its digs expansion (approximately CHF 36 million as per the feasibility study). The increase in volume (shell, installations, building shell, will come to circa CHF 22 million) will be transferred to the City of Zug in accordance with the accession principle (without any financial consequences) after completion. The EVZ will have to pay the annual maintenance costs for the building shell it will build, amounting to two percent of the billed construction costs. The interior fittings (approximately CHF 14 million) will remain the property of the EVZ. The EVZ itself is responsible for the maintenance and renovation of the areas it uses exclusively (tenant improvements).

As is the practice earlier, the City of Zug will bear the maintenance costs of the property.

Maintained Mayor André Wicki on the agreement, “The City Council is fully convinced that the above ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ is the need of the hour.”

Expansion Elements

As part of the ‘Keep Building’ project, the EVZ will realize three modules: The North module, the South module and the training hall module. The City of Zug will implement the changes in the direction of General-Guisan-Strasse and West-Strasse.

Put in Patrick Lengwiler, EVZ head honcho, “The City of Zug built the Bossard Arena and provided the EVZ the platform to grow into one of the most successful ice hockey clubs of Switzerland. The ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ will now facilitate us to move ahead with the expansion work of the facility. The tenant fit-out model is the right way forward. We can invest judiciously, while the City remains the owner and the taxpayers do not have to pick up the tab.”

The ‘Keep Building’ project includes the expansion of the hall capacity from 7,200 to around 9,000 spectator seats and providing more gourmet food to fans. It will also be ensured that the pristine sheen of the facility remains as well as its urban character. The Northern part of the stadium roof will be made a little steeper to facilitate the expansion exercise. A major part of the additional spectator seats and catering areas will be created in this space. The Southern extension will connect the existing ‘67 Sportsbar’ with the ground floor.

A fan zone will come up in the ground floor with direct access to the arena square where a lot of restaurants will be set up. Saplings will be planted along the General-Guisan-Strasse. The EVZ and KEB are also planning a ‘Winter landscape’ on the Arenaplatz, which will further enliven the ice skating area.

Project Hailed

The Townscape Commission welcomed the ‘Keep Building’ project and the tree boulevard idea.

Naming Rights

To support the financing, the naming rights of the arena will be marketed by the EVZ from July 1st, 2025. From the proceeds, the City of Zug will receive 150,000 francs (today 50,000 francs) per year and a right of veto in the awarding of the naming rights sponsor. This is part of a separate agreement inked between the City of Zug and the EVZ.

Performance Agreement

The Bossard Arena reins will remain in the hands of KEB and will become the new tenant of the City of Zug. The EVZ will remain a subtenant of the KEB. The City of Zug will work out a Performance Agreement with the KEB, which will be submitted to the City Parliament from time to time.

2027 Opening

The realization of the ‘Keep Building’ project requires a change to the existing development plan. It is planned that the City Parliament will discuss this in the first meeting to be held this year. The second meeting and the building permit is being planned for 2024, the construction timeframe – 2025-2027 (under operation), and the expanded and redeveloped Bossard Arena will open at the start of the 2027 season.

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