St Jakob-Park: FC Basel 1893

St. Jakob-Park, St. Jakobs-Strasse 395, Basel, 4052, Switzerland
By Sven Scharr (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

St. Jakob-Park has been the home of FC Basel 1893, or simply Basel, since 2001 when it officially opened as the club’s new ground, replacing the confusingly named St. Jakob Stadium. The old ground was well-known in world football and had hosted matches in the 1954 World Cup and numerous Cup Winner’s Cup finals. Unfortunately it was looking every inch of its age by the 1990s and so the decision was taken to build St. Jakob-Park.

Designed by Basel-based architects Herzog & de Meuron, the stadium cost a little over €140 million to build and played a prominent part in the 2008 European Championships. The tournament was held jointly by Austria and Switzerland and FC Basel’s ground was hosted three group matches, two quarter-finals and one of the semi-final games. It was also used to host all of Switzerland’s games and the opening ceremony of the competition.

Stats

St Jakob-Park Stats
Year Opened2001
Capacity38,512
Average Attendance29,001
Record Attendance39,730 (Switzerland v Czech Republic (2008))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
OwnerGenossenschaft S.J.P
Clubs HostedFC Basel 1893
First FixtureFC Basel v Lausanne Sports (15/03/2001)
FC Basel 1893 Stats
Year Founded1893
NicknameFCB, Bebbi, RotBlau
RivalsGrasshopper Club Zürich, FC Zürich
Previous StadiumsSt. Jakob Stadium
KitRed, Blue & Black (Home) / White (Away)
Shirt SponsorNovartis
Team OwnerBernhard Heusler
Record GoalscorerJosef Hügi (244)
Record AppearancesMassimo Ceccaroni (398)

St Jakob-Park Photos

St Jakob-Park Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By me/Kevin Näf (Own work (selbst fotografiert)) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The stadium has four sides that are located in the geographical regions of North, South, East and West. As far as your tickets are concerned they’ll likely be labelled A, B, C or D as this makes it easy to identify where you’ll be sitting.

The North Stand was expanded in time for 2008 and is the only section of the ground that has three tiers of seated sections. The East Stand is where Basel’s most passionate supporters sit and it is also the stand where the Fanshop and the Museum are located. The South Stand hosts not only the corporate seating, it is also the home of the dug-outs, the tunnel and the player’s changing room. Last but not least is the West Stand. Here you’ll find the away supporters in one corner and the families in the other.

FC Basel 1893 Ticket Prices

Unlike some clubs around Europe, FC Basel make their ticket prices remarkably easy to understand. The prices are broken down into different categories depending on where in the ground you would like to sit. Interestingly they go against the grain somewhat in having a standard ticket price regardless of the opposition or the competition they’re playing in.

Here are some of the categories that tickets are broken down into and the relative price for a match day ticket. Children from 6-16 who go with an adult get a 20% discount, as do other concessions with a valid ID. Your ticket will also work as a valid ticket for public transport in the city of Basel for up to four hours before the match and until the buses and trams stop running after the match.

  • A1, A2, A5, A6 Lower Tier - €75
  • C3, C4 Lower Tier Under Balcony - €59
  • B Gellert - €36
  • B6, B7, C1 Family Corner (Adult) - €19
  • B6, B7, C1 Family Corner (Children) - €17
  • C1, C2, C5, C6 (Wheelchair User) - €25
  • G1, G2, G9, G10 - €20

How To Get FC Basel 1893 Tickets

Tickets for FC Basel matches are reasonably easy to get hold of, starting with a trip to the fan shop at the stadium itself. You can also pick them up from the Markus Vogel Fan Shop at Station SBB. There may well be people hanging around outside the ground before matches offering tickets, but these people are worth avoiding.

Getting To St Jakob-Park

Move Map
Swap Start/End

St. Jakob-Park is about three kilometres West of the centre of Basel, so it can be walked to in about forty minutes. There are other options available, though, and we’ll give them to you here.

Train - A trip to Basel from London is reasonably easy to do, even it isn’t the quickest of trips you’ll make in your lifetime. You’ll get the Eurostar from St. Pancras International through to Paris before switching onto an SNCF train to Basel SBB. It’ll take you just under seven hours but the scenery on the journey will be some of the best you’ve seen.

Once you’ve arrived in Basel you’ll be able to get the tram to right outside of the stadium itself. There is a dedicated station called ‘St. Jakob’ that can be reached by taking tram 8, 10 or 11 one stop to Aeschenplatz before transferring to tram number 14.

Bus - There are three buses that will take you to the stadium with the closest stop once again called St. Jakob. The BVB line number 36 or the BLT buses 37 and 47 will be the ones you’ll want to catch if you prefer the bus to the tram.

Car - The journey from London to Basel takes around nine hours in a car. Once you’re there the journey to the ground is a lot easier! Route 12 onto Route 2 takes about ten minutes, whilst a journey via the A3 will take more like fifteen.

By Air - The nearest airport to Basel is EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, which is about two miles to the North-West of the city centre. It’s actually located in France rather than Switzerland but it’s still the best place to fly to for Basel. There’s a number 50 bus that will take you into the centre in about twenty minutes, or you can catch either tram number 8, number 10 or number 11.

Taxi - A taxi from Basel’s centre to the ground will cost about €15 and take around fifteen minutes. If you get caught in traffic then it will take longer and, somewhat obviously, cost more.

Parking Near St Jakob-Park

There are parking spaces near to and underneath the ground itself. There’s also a shopping centre directly opposite to the ground with about 2100 parking spaces.

Useful Resources

St Jakob-Park Hotels

Basel is a beautiful, picturesque Swiss city that is worth visiting for more than just the football. As such there are plenty of lovely hotels worth considering, some of which we’ve picked out for you here:

Hotel Wettstein - £150+

Grenzacherstrasse 8, Basel, BS, 4058
Located about 1.5 miles from the ground is the Hotel Wettstein. It offers 40 rooms, a bar and lounge, self-parking and a 24-hour business centre. There’s also a terrace and a garden, so you’ll have somewhere to chill out before and after the match. More details.

Radisson Blu Hotel - £210+

Steinentorstrasse 25, Basel, BS, 4001
Radisson’s Blu hotels are amongst the most respected in the hotel industry. Basel’s variety of the Blu features a restaurant and bar area, a 24-hour health club with an indoor pool and self-parking. They also offer childcare and free Wi-Fi in a hotel that is just over a mile and a half from the ground. More details.

Hotel Schweizerhof Basel - £250+

Centralbahnplatz 1, Basel, BS, 4002
The Hotel Schweizerhof looks exactly how you’d imagine a large Swiss hotel to look and is located in the middle of Basel, about 1.4 miles from the stadium. There are 82 rooms, a 24-hour business centre, a terrace and free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near St Jakob-Park

There is a broad selection of pubs and bars in Basel that you can chose from for your pre-match pint. We’ve picked out a few of our favourites, so bear them in mind when you head over to Switzerland.

Mr. Pickwick Pub Basel

Steinenvorstadt 13, 4051 (+41 61 281 86 87)
Located close to the river that runs through Basel is Mr. Pickwick Pub. Offering what they call the ‘British way of life’, the pub does good food, has beers on draft and, of course, shows as much live sport as you could possibly want to watch.

Paddy Reilly's

Steinentorstrasse 45, 4051 (+41 61 281 33 36)
If you’ve read any of our other stadium guides then you’ll know that we love to pick out an Irish bar or two near to the grounds that we’re writing about and St. Jakob-Park is no exception. Paddy Reilly’s is about as Irish a name as you can get and here you’ll enjoy live sport on big screens, Guinness on draft and all the craic you can handle.

Rotblau Bar/ Bistro

St. Jakob-Park, St. Jakobs-Strasse 395, 4052 (+41 61 375 11 33)
This place used to be called Hattrick Sport-Bar, so that should give you some indication of what to expect. It’s the closest pub to the stadium and has a summer terrace, lunch menu, American snacks and plenty of big screens to show the various sports events that are taking place at any given moment.

Facilities

The recent redevelopment of the ground in preparation for its hosting of the 2016 Europa League final means that the facilities are excellent. There are two restaurants in the ground that are open to the public, plus plenty of smaller food and drink venues that you can use to get yourself fed and watered before, during and after the match.

Hospitality

By Samanta Waldburger (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

FC Basel 1893 redesigned their hospitality experience in the summer of 2013. They began to focus on the notion of premium lounges and brought in renowned gastronomical expert Frank Wassermann to help them create a new menu for their hospitality guests. Here is a bit of information on some of the new lounges and what they offer:

  • The Captains Lounge - Dedicated to the different captains of FC Basel through the years, the Captains Lounge experience offers access to the room up to 90 minutes before kick off, food and beverage choices and a seat in the lower level of section A.
  • The Cooking Lounge - Something of a unique hospitality lounge in football, the Cooking Lounge gives you the chance to either cook your own meal or else help the chefs as they prepare it. You’ll also get the same benefits as you would in the Captain Lounge.
  • The Baloise Lounge - Access to the Baloise Lounge comes in five different categories, each of which offers you something different. The lounge itself is full of modern furnishings and a feeling of warmth and classiness.
  • Eventbox - Aimed at those hoping to enjoy a more corporate experience, there’s room for up to 48 people in the Eventbox. You get access to the area from two hours before the game and plenty of food and drink.
  • Warteck Box Pub - Designed, as the name suggests, to resemble an old fashioned pub atmosphere, the Wateck Box offers a buffet with pub food and a bar to stand at and enjoy a pint before you head outside to your seat.

Private Hire

Like any top quality football stadium, St. Jakob-Park offers plenty of private hire options. There are a number of different suites available depending on the type of event you’d like to host there. From business meetings for a select few through to private parties for up to 900 people, FC Basel’s home ground has got you covered. There are numerous different lounges and rooms that you can use so if you’re hoping to host an event in the heart of one of Switzerland’s nicest cities then drop the club a line directly and they’ll give you all of your choices.

Stadium Tours & Museum

You can do a tour of St. Jakob-Park every day and they run from 8am until 8pm. The only time that isn’t the case is on match days or on occasions when the stadium is hosting music concerts. The tour takes in all of the usual sites in the ground including the changing rooms, pitch side, the tunnel and the press area. It lasts about 75 minutes and you can go on a tour in a choice of language including English, French, German and Italian.

After you’ve done the tour why don’t you pop into the FCB Museum? It’s been open since 2008 and features a huge amount of memorabilia from the club’s history. You’ll be able to see shirts, pennants, photos and, most importantly, trophies. Entry to the museum is free, so you don’t need worry about it affecting your pocket money, either!

About FC Basel 1893

FC Basel 2012 - Football.ua [CC BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

FC Basel have won the Swiss Super League seventeen times, which makes them the second most successful club in Switzerland behind Grasshopper Club Zürich who have won it nineteen times since it became a professional league. They have enjoyed something of a revival in recent times, with their previous most successful period coming in the 1960s and 1970s. Their recent spate of good form stretches back as far as the 1999-2000 season and they have competed in a European competition every year since then, including reaching the final of the Intertoto Cup in 2002, eventually losing to Aston Villa.

They reached the knockout phase of the Champions League in the 2011-2012 season, which featured a famous win against Manchester United on home soil. They beat Bayern Munich 1-0 at St. Jakob-Park but lost the tie on aggregate. They also managed to make it to the last sixteen of the Champions League in the 2014-2015 season, progressing from a difficult group that included Real Madrid and Liverpool. Not bad for a team that was formed in 1893 after an advertisement was placed in a newspaper asking anyone who wanted to be in a football team to show up at a restaurant one Wednesday evening!

St Jakob-Park History

By Sven Scharr (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

St. Jakob Stadium was the home of FC Basel 1893 from 1954 until it was closed in 1998. That ground had a storied history, being used as the location for matches in the 1954 World Cup, including a famous 7-0 win for Uruguay over Scotland. It was also used as the venue for the UEFA Cup Winners Cup on four separate occasions. Unfortunately age began to take its toll on the stadium and a decision was reached in the early 1990s to build a new venue for FC Basel’s games to played in.

For reasons known only to the club and the local area the new stadium was to be named, somewhat confusingly, St. Jakob-Park. It is the largest football venue in all of Switzerland and has actually had its capacity reduced over the years. Originally it could house up to 33,433 supporters but that was increased to 42,500 in time for the 2008 European Championships, during which it was a host venue. Nowadays it can welcome 38,512 for matches in the Swiss Super League, 37,500 for Swiss international matches and 60,000 for music concerts.

Future Developments

By Kevin Näf (Own work (selbst fotografiert)) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Because the ground was renovated ahead of its use as the venue for the final of the 2016 Europa League, the stadium is about as up-to-date as it could possibly be. That means that there are unlikely to be any changes to the ground in the near future.

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