Eurovision 2025: St. Gallen will not bid to host the contest

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 395 views

The City of St. Gallen has announced that it will be not submit a bid to host the forthcoming 2025 Eurovision Song Contest in Switzerland next year.

The City of St.Gallen,Canton of St. Gallen, St. Gallen Bodensee Tourism and Olma Messen have decided not to submit a bid to host Eurovision 2025 after studying all the requirements set by the SSR-SRG and EBU for Eurovision 2025. Due to the extensive and demanding conditions formulated in the Eurovision 2025 Host City tender the City of St. Gallen will not submit a bid.

St. Gallen is ready to host side events or a play a small role in the event if Zurich is awarded the grand honour of hosting the competition, due to its close proximity and excellent transport connections with Zurich.

St.Gallen was aiming to host the competition at the Olma Messen.

The St. Gallen Stad released the following statement regarding Eurovision 2025:

The city, canton, tourism and Olma Messen are not submitting an application to host the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2025 in Switzerland. The high requirements set by the SRG for holding the event cannot currently be met. Nevertheless, the possible ESC candidacy has brought attention and momentum and positioned the event destination St.Gallen with the new St.Galler Kantonalbank Halle throughout Switzerland and even internationally.

On May 28, 2024, the SRG sent interested cities, so-called host cities, the tender documents for hosting the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Switzerland next year. The submission of a possible candidacy is expected by the end of June. The city of St.Gallen, together with the canton of St.Gallen, St.Gallen-Bodensee Tourism and Olma Messen, has now studied the framework conditions in detail. St.Gallen is ready to host major events. Despite all the creativity in finding solutions, the extensive and demanding conditions formulated in the tender do not allow a candidacy with a chance of success. An application is currently not realistic, despite the tempting unprecedented international attention as a host city.

High demands 

According to the tender documents, the host city in particular will be responsible for numerous services and costs. These include all expenses for security, city branding, energy, disposal, sewage, water, cleaning and shuttle service. The host city is also expected to set up and finance a Eurovision Village (fan zone with supporting program, concerts, live viewings, etc.) and a EuroClub as a party venue for the fan clubs. At the same time, existing sponsorship documents, for example those at the new St.Galler Kantonalbank Halle, must be covered. In any case, the procurement of sponsorship money is handled very restrictively. Overall, including an additional financial contribution that is crucial for the award of the contract, costs in the order of 30 to 40 million francs would be estimated, a large part of which would have to be covered by the public sector.

The number of hotels with more than 25 rooms cannot be met within the required maximum travel times. The exclusive allocation of the Olma site during the eight weeks of occupancy from the end of March to the end of May 2025 would result in difficult-to-estimate losses in revenue for Olma Messen and cancellations of trade fairs (including OFFA) as well as postponements of events. This would put a strain on Olma Messen’s long-standing good relationships with loyal exhibitors, partners and visitors. In addition, the infrastructure would have to be upgraded with costly expansions for the ESC. Conclusion: These high requirements cannot currently be met in the required form in our region. 

Rich event year 2025

At the same time, St.Gallen’s 2025 event year is fortunately already very busy; in addition to the traditional major events such as OpenAir, CSIO, Aufgetischt (all in May/June 2025), St.Galler Fest (August), OLMA (in October), the city of St.Gallen will also be the venue for the Northeast Swiss Wrestling Festival (29 June) and three group matches of the Women’s EURO 2025 (4 July, 9 July, 13 July), which will be held in Switzerland from 2 to 27 July 2025. 

ESC discussion sparked enthusiasm

The city and cantonal governments, Olma Messen and St.Gallen-Bodensee Tourism are delighted that the proposed candidacy has succeeded in further positioning the city of St.Gallen and thus the whole of Eastern Switzerland as a venue for major events and in highlighting in particular the local hall infrastructure with the new St.Galler Kantonalbank Hall on the Olma site. The numerous positive reactions from the population, politics and business as well as the commitment of the employees have been encouraging. In this respect, this ESC evaluation phase was a valuable “warm-up round” for future major events in the St.Gallen capital region. The interaction between the city, canton, Olma Messen and tourism worked excellently. 

If the city of Zurich is awarded the contract to be the host city, the Olma infrastructure could also be used for certain events if necessary due to the short distance and good connections between the two cities. Discussions about this are to take place at the end of August after a possible award. If the SRG considers resizing the event due to a lack of or insufficient bids, the host city of St. Gallen would be happy to consider a second attempt.

The 2025 Eurovision Song Contest Host City submission window is deadline has been set at the end of June. So far Basel and Geneva have confirmed that they’ll be submitting a bid to host the competition, whilst Bern and Biel are contemplating to submit a joint bid. Zurich is yet to decide if it will submit a bid.

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