Blatter Launches FIFA Museum Project to Wow Football Fans

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Blatter symbolically started the construction work (Foto-net)
(WFI) Sepp Blatter has unveiled plans for FIFA’s new museum project.

Instead of being built in FIFA’s grounds on the Zurichberg as originally planned, it will be constructed in the Haus zur Enge in Zurich-Enge. The museum is expected to open in spring 2015.

FIFA tells World Football INSIDER that the estimated cost is $111 million – for the renovation of the building, which is owned by Swiss Life, and “realisation of the museum project”.

FIFA tells INSIDER it will fund the cost of the museum and its items, "around 30 million Swiss francs" ($32m). Swiss Life will pay for the building conversion.

On Thursday, Blatter symbolically started the construction work and with it the launch of the project.

“It may still be a building site, but soon this will be a true meeting place for football and its millions of fans from all over the world. Today is a great day for me personally and for FIFA. I am delighted that we are going ahead with this project in the Haus zur Enge,” he said.

Earlier this month, the Swiss and FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke signed the rental contract for the building. Last week world football’s governing body officially submitted its plans to the Zurich City Council, which welcomed the project.

Plans for the museum include a Hall of Fame, 3D displays and interactive games as well as a collection of trophies and shirts “to captivate fans from all over the world”. Various exhibitions will focus on FIFA’s social responsibility programmes, as well as on the promotion and development of football, fair play and the Football for Hope program.

Also to be included in the Haus zur Enge project is office space with around 150 workstations and the development of 28 apartments.

FIFA said dismantling work was already underway in the Haus zur Enge and would be ongoing until at least September. The museum concept will also be developed during this time.

Once planning and conversion permission has been received, work on the building shell will start around December, followed by the facade and the technical installations and then by work on the museum itself.

“We know that we have a tight and ambitious schedule to plan and carry out all of this work, but we are very confident,” said Sacha Menz from the project architects, SAM Architekten und Partner AG in Zurich. The construction company is HRS Real Estate.

The FIFA museum was originally planned as part of an extension of the football governing body's Zurich headquarters.

In April 2012, FIFA said an investment of around 180 million Swiss francs would be required and had been agreed by the Executive Committee.

But FIFA's project management team had also searched for possible alternative locations. It abandoned the initial plan.

"A few months ago, FIFA came across the “Haus zur Enge” and decided that it would be the perfect location for the museum," said FIFA in its media release.

By INSIDER’s Mark Bisson

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