We have barely survived the 2014 song contest yet the most eager fans are already looking ahead to 2015. The host broadcaster ORF invited Europe to Austria in the press conference on Saturday night and different cities and venues around the country have announced their willingness to host Eurovision.
The capital Vienna is of course the first city to come in mind. Wiener Stadthalle sounds like an ideal venue with a capacity of some 16,000 spectators. This would probably come down to some 10,000 for Eurovision which has been the size of the audiences the last two years.
The venue’s CEO Wolfgang Fischer has said that they could provide everything needed for Eurovision and that they have experience in organizing big concerts and other events. Transport connections are also ideal – subway and railway stations are located right next to the venue. The press center and other facilities could be located in the halls that belong to the complex.
Wolfgang Fischer is another venue but not a very likely one to get to host the event as it’s a stadium with no roof. The ORF Finance Director Richard Grasl says he can’t imagine the contest to be held there because of the weather risk.
Wörthersee-Stadion in Klagenfurt, Southern Austria, would like to host Eurovision as well. The problem is again that the stadion is uncovered. The venue could take up to 30,000 spectators but it would cost a lot to build even a temporary roof.
– Technically it would be possible to build a roof but financially it would cause troubles financially. We could build a huge ‘tent’ as a temporary roof. That would cost a lot but if we would join forces, it would be possible to implement, Gert Unterköfler from Wörthersee-Stadio comments.
The city itself is the sixth-biggest city in the country with 90,000 inhabitants.
Innsbruck is probably the best known for organizing winter sports events. Surrounded by the Alps, the city’s management are sure that it would be a perfect host as they have even hosted the Olympic Games. Olympiahalle has a capacity of between 8,000 to 12,000.
The second-largest city in Austria offers itself as well. Stadthalle Graz and the halls surrounding it would be able to welcome the fans and delegations next May. The venue itself could take up to some 10,000 spectators. It hosted some of the games of the 2010 European Men’s Handball Championship.
Oberösterreich or ‘Upper Austria’ is one of the country’s states in North. The Governor Josef Pühringer says that there are several venues willing to host it – he names also a large tent as one of the options. Linz is the biggest city in the area with some 200,000 inhabitants.
Oberwart, South of Vienna, offers its convention center which has a capacity for 7,000 people. The population is pretty much the same as the capacity which would make the accommodation a major challenge. The Mayor Georg Rosner is, however, confident that they could come up with a solution.
Salzburg not in race
While it feels like the entire country wants to host Eurovision 2015, Salzburg is not one of them. Mayor Heinz Schaden says that the city can’t provide a venue big enough to handle the event and adds that the costs would grow too high. Schaden doesn’t believe that the city would benefit enough when it comes to the added tourism value.
ORF sets the maximum budget to 20 million euros which will partly come back as ticket revenues, sponsors’ support and participation fees. The Eurovision 2015 host city and venue will be confirmed within two months – the dates are preliminary set for May 12th, 14th and 16th.