Enough is enough
Residents who live in the blocks of flats adjacent to the Letzigrund Stadium have written to the council to complain about all the noise they have to endure, and not just as a result of sporting events which take place there.
Naturally, residents knew before they took up residency there that the stadium would be used regularly for sporting events such as the 50 football matches each season. In addition to the noise, residents also have to put up with bad behaviour from some fans, namely fighting, drinking, throwing fireworks and the stink from tear gas as the police try to quell them.
As if all this were not bad enough, residents have also been complaining about the four open-air concerts which take place there every year. Neither it is just the sound from loudspeakers during the concerts themselves, it is all the noisy preparation work which starts up to ten days before the event, with huge lorries bringing all the equipment. This all has to be assembled and dismantled afterwards. One local resident counted as many as 52 articulated lorries arriving as preparation for one concert began. When one realises that in some cases there is only 30 metres distance between the stage area and people’s bedrooms, it is understandable why some complain.
In a letter written to the council to complain about all this noise, residents have called for a ban on concerts there, at least during the time the FC Zurich and Grasshopper teams are still using the stadium (temporarily).
However, in a reply sent by Gerold Lauber, the CVP councillor responsible, he emphasised how import the income from these concerts was, especially during this time of financial constraint. Furthermore, he mentioned what joy the concerts brought to the 200,000 fans who attended them. He mentioned, too, how he looked forward to the time when the two afore-mentioned football clubs would be able to play their matches at a planned Hardturm Stadium.
As this article in the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper went on to say, nearby residents are also angry about a tarmacked area adjacent to the stadium which is used for coach and lorry parking and VIP marquees, for example, whereas originally it was supposed to be laid with artificial turf. The Alice Schoch Bockborn Foundation, which owns several apartment blocks adjacent to the stadium, has also complained about this, to no avail.
Since the council has declined to stop holding concerts at the stadium, the residents affected on Baslerstrasse and Hardgutstrasse have now asked if at least the Buchleren training area might be used for football matches instead. While they recognised how the Mundialito children’s football tournament was a wonderful thing for the 500 players from 16 different countries participating, the incessant music and loudspeaker announcements over a three-day period was too much to bear. “What makes it all worse, with announcements echoing throughout the area, we hear them all twice,” said one local resident.