Eurovision 2015: Venue decision “within two months”

by Peter Russell 1,458 views

General Director for Austrian broadcaster ORF, Alexander Wrabetz, has announced that the decision on the venue for the 2015 and 60th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be made “within two months”.

Many cities around Austria are vying for the right to host the competition, with Vienna, Graz, Salzburg, and others tipping their hat into the ring. Wrabetz has praised the response from all areas of Austria, stating that it’s a positive sign that Austria is ready to host all of Europe in May 2015. Austrian broadcaster ORF has already set aside 20 million euro for the event.

In Vienna, the competition is heating up.

Despite not being the official host city as of yet, venues in the Austrian capital are making their bid to host the big event.

One of the front runners is Wiener Stadthalle which offers multiple halls that could host the big event with a capacity of approximately 16,000. The benefit of this venue would be its proximity to central Vienna, and multiple halls within the venue to house the main event, press centre, greenrooms, and dressing rooms.

Messe Wien, a multi-complex exhibition centre that could offer seating for up to 30,000, although it would likely be less than that once the staging is set. Once again, it could house all of the requirements for holding the contest.

The Austria Center Vienna has offered itself as the media host for the event, although the full contest would have to look elsewhere, as its top capacity room would only allow 4,320 spectators. Perfect for the Eurovision media frenzy, but far too small to host Europe for the big event.

It has already been confirmed that a number of venues and stadiums would not be suitable to host the contest as they are open air. As we have seen over the past years, there have been a number of bids for open air venues for the big event, but as ORF Finance Director Richard Grasl points out, the weather is too unpredictable to bet on this. The 1967 venue, Hofburg Palace, was also dismissed due to its size, and improper facilities to support the modern event.

The rest of the competition are making their pitch.

Despite the views on open-air events, the region of Carinthia and Tyrol have put forward the Wörthersee Stadion as an option. With a capacity of 10,900, the stadium would offer an open-air but established venue for the big event, and offer great exposure of the tourist destinations within the region.

The city of Innsbruk has previously been host of large events, including the Winter Olympics of 1964 and 1976, and more recently the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics. Therefore, Governor Günther Platter and Innsbruck Mayor Christine Oppitz-Plörer suggest that Innsbruck is prepared and ready to host the largest music competition in the world.

Graz has put forth their support of hosting the contest, touting their infrastructure and attractions, and Upper Austria has put forth a number of options where Governor Josef Pühringer suggested the Linz music theater.

Provincial governor Wilfried Haslauer suggested that the only true place to hold the contest is Vienna, stating that his local Salzburg would not have the facilities to support the contest, nor would any other area of Austria.

Many of the venues put forth from areas around the country are sub-10,000 spectator capacity. Although the focus on the contest recently has been quality over quantity, any country that hosts the pan-European event will have to expect a large influx from fans, press, and tourists as a result.

Although the final decision is yet to be made, we should expect news of the official host city and venue of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest soon.

This will be the second time Austria plays host to the Eurovision Song Contest, after hosting the 1967 event in Vienna. Conchita Wurst won the competition this year with her power-ballad Rise like a phoenix, earning a respectable 290 points, receiving top marks from a number of countries throughout Europe.

For more on Conchita, Austria, and the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, stay tuned to esctoday.com.

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