Switzerland is known for various things, but when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest, it is known as the birthplace of the contest. It all started in 1956, when the first ever contest was held in Lugano. Then, when the country finally achieved success once more in 1988, the contest was held in Lausanne, the following year. Could we potentially see the contest return to one of these former host cities, or will we add another new city on the list of host cities? Let’s have a look at the options.

A former city in 2025?

Since the contest has changed a lot since the country last hosted, the 1956 and 1989 venues are out of question, since both of them at the time, were theater halls. But could the contest return to Lugano or Lausanne in 2025?

Lugano has the “Cornér Arena“, an indoor arena that was build in 1957 and re-build in 1995 and with space for 7.800 spectators. Meanwhile, Lausanne has the “Vaudoise Aréna” which was just recently opened, back in 2019 and with space for 12.000 spectators. Both arenas are mainly used for ice hockey as well, but despite the possibilities, both cities have already confirmed that neither of them will bid for the 2025 contest.

Both cities have acknowledged how the contest has grown in size over the years, and that neither cities have the proper infrastructure to even host such an event. The city of Lausanne has acknowledged that their only option would lack room for a media center, as well as the event taking place during the hockey season, but are openly supporting any French region to host the contest. While Lugano admits that they cannot compete with other cities who are already far ahead in planning.

A new city on the ESC map

With the only two former host cities in Switzerland already out of the race, then let’s have a look at the other possible contenders. The country has multiple great cities with great possibilities, which includes some of the following:

  • Potential candidate cities for ESC 2025

    Basel (St. Jakobshalle – 12.400)

  • Bern (PostFinance Arena – 17.000)
  • Biel/Bienne
  • Chur
  • Fribourg
  • Geneva (Geneva Arena – 9.500 OR Palexpo)
  • Luzern
  • Neuchâtel
  • Sion
  • St. Gallen (Kantonalbank Halle)
  • Zug
  • Zürich (Swiss Life Arena – 12.000 OR Hallenstadion – 13.000)

Geographically, it seems very likely that the contest will end somewhere in the North or in the West of the country, which automatically eliminates any chances of the Italian speaking regions of the country to host, and most likely it will be in a German speaking region, with a very small chance of the contest being in the French speaking region.

Very unlikely candidates

If we take a quick look at cities that as of right now, has not confirmed any interest yet, we have promising cities such as Sion, Chur, Neuchâtel, Zug and the largest city of them Luzern. Unfortunately, these cities do lack a proper arena to host the contest, are situated far from a large airport and most likely lack the capacity to host up to 100.000 visitors, or even more than that. Zug is the city with the largest arena of the mentioned ones, which has the “Bossard Arena“, but only has a capacity of 7.200 spectators.

Potential candidates

Then we have some cities that have expressed some sort of interest which include Biel/Bienne, – hometown of Nemo Mettler –  Fribourg and de facto capital of Switzerland, Bern. This is a rather interesting situation among these 3 cities, since both Biel and Bern are part of the Bern Canton, while the city of Fribourg – despite it being located closer to Bern than Biel – is not within the same canton.

Fribourg would make use of Bern Airport for international travel however, and would offer the “BCF Arena“, which has a capacity of 9.075 spectators. Discussions are ongoing whether the city wish to take part in the bidding or not.

Meanwhile, the city of Biel/Bienne are far more optimistic and hopeful on taking hosting duties, while the city of Bern is not as eager, but is being persuaded to consider the opportunity. As mentioned before, both cities are part of the same canton, and with Nemo originating from Biel, it makes it clear why the city wish to host the event, and if not, then at least have the contest in the same canton. Unfortunately for the city of Biel, accommodation and an arena is what might be missing, which is what most likely will prevent the city from hosting.

Meanwhile, the capital of Switzerland, Bern – to be clear, Bern is only considered the factual capital, but by law, the country of Switzerland does not have a capital – have near enough the perfect possibilities to host the event. The capital city has the largest indoor arena in the entire country, which could host up to 17.000 spectators, suitable amount of accommodation room and a nearby airport. If anything could damage the chancens of the capital hosting the contest, it would probably be the airport, as it only get’s a limited amount of visitors, a would probably force most, if not all, visitors and delegations to take either ground transportation or a flight switch. It should be made clear that a final decision is yet to be made, whether the capital would push for hosting or not, only the district president of Bern has expressed his opposition for hosting the contest in Bern.

Current candidates

As of right now, only 4 cities are officially putting in their applications to host the event next year. These cities being St. Gallen and the 3 largest cities of the country, them being Basel, Geneve and Zürich.

Starting with the smallest of the remaining 4, we have St. Gallen. The most Eastern located city of the current four, the city has a splendid venue that can host 12.000 spectators, which was just recently opened earlier this year. Unfortunately, with the city being far smaller compared to the 3 main candidates, accommodation might be a problem. St. Gallen–Altenrhein Airport might also be a problem, being the nearest airport, but with very limited amount of flights coming from outside the country.

This is which set the remaining 3 candidates far apart from any other potential candidate city, Basel, Geneve and Zürich all host international airports, all 3 cities have room enough for visitors and delegations, all cities are well experienced with international travel and relationship, and all 3 have arena’s that can host the contest with room for close or more than 10.000 spectators.

Zürich being the largest city with a population close to half a million, and by far have the airport with most yearly travelers, are well used to international visitors. Geneve might have the smallest capable arena of the 3 candidates, but is the home city of the EBU headquarters, which could play a key role for the city. Lastly, Basel is located right next to both the German and French borders, which could potentially boost the chances from neighboring regions offering help.

The main airline of the country being Swiss Airlines, also have hubs in both Zürich and Geneve, while their headquarter is located in Basel.

Overall, it is expected that host broadcaster (SRG SSR) has a lot of work ahead of them. The broadcaster quickly confirmed some of these candidate cities and even asked in a survey “In which Swiss city should ESC 2025 be held in”, where most voters went with Zürich as the most voted choice, but closely followed by both St. Gallen and Basel. The broadcaster is expecting to decide on the host city, at latest somewhere in September 2024.

Where are #YOU hoping ESC 2025 will be held and will we see #YOU next year in Switzerland?
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All sources are listed above in the article, which include sources in German, French and Italian, as well from the host broadcaster.

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