St. Jakobshalle in Basel needs a 7.5 million upgrade

Basel's St. Jakobshalle, which only reopened in 2018 after extensive renovation and expansion work, already needs massive upgrades. The Basel government is requesting an amount of CHF 7.5 million for this purpose.

St. Jakobshalle
The acoustics in the foyer of the St. Jakobshalle are to be improved. (Image: Keystone / Patrick Straub)

In order to meet the changed customer needs, the infrastructure of the hall must be additionally adapted and modernized, the Basel government announced on Tuesday. This is based on experience and findings from the first operating phase.

According to the press release, the canton, as owner and operator of the hall, has commissioned an external company to investigate and analyze optimization measures. In the process, immediate operational measures, such as replacement lighting and new curtains, had already emerged early on, which had already been tackled and financed.

The new measures now envisaged are wide-ranging. For example, the acoustics in the foyer are to be improved and the support structure of the arena is to be raised so that sufficient loudspeakers, video walls, decorations, etc. can be installed for events. There are also plans to expand and improve the backstage area. More people are to be catered for and the ventilation in the kitchen is to be improved.

The improvement measures now communicated have nothing to do with the conflict with the anchor event Swiss Indoors communicated in various media, said the spokesman of the Department of Education, which is in charge of the project, in response to a question. The NZZ had reported on Saturday that the increasingly dissatisfied organizers of the tennis event were looking into moving away to Zurich from 2023.

The sum for the renovation of the St. Jakobshalle thus grows again. The 105 million francs had already been joined by further contributions: Because of a comprehensive retrofit required by the Basellandschaftliche Gebäudeversicherung, the canton had to invest 8.7 million francs in improving fire protection. In addition, there were further improvements in the area of safety, among other things, which cost 2.2 million francs. (SDA)

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