It has now been officially announced by the ORF that the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) for 2015 will be held in the Vienna city hall (Stadthalle), scheduled for May 23rd.
The decision was supported by the European Broadcast Union (EBU), which has responsibility for coordinating with all the other countries' broadcasters.
"We are very pleased with ORF's decision to choose Vienna as the host city of the next Eurovision Song Contest," says Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor on behalf of the EBU.
"We are confident the city has the experience, people and the facilities to host the world's foremost entertainment event. With the cooperation between Vienna, ORF and the EBU, I'm sure we'll see three amazing shows in May."
"Vienna is the city of music and arts in the heart of Europe. Together we will do everything to assure a successful 60th Eurovision Song Contest." says Director General of ORF, Alexander Wrabetz.
The semi-finals will be on 19 and 21 May.
Originally, the decision was scheduled for July 30, but was delayed as the ORF sought the best possible deal. Competition was fierce, with a three-way contest between Vienna, with its 16,000 people capacity – supported by Socialist Party (SPÖ) mayor Michael Häupl and the Greens Party; Innsbruck – with room for 14,000 in the Olympia Hall; and Graz, the smallest venue with seating for 11,000 viewers.
Innsbruck provided the strongest alternative to Vienna, as Tyrolean politician Günther Platter (People's Party, ÖVP) offered millions of euros in financial support to the state broadcaster, ORF.
The expected costs for the production of the event are likely to exceed €11.71 million, according to a report in the daily Der Standard. Close to nine million of that cost will relate to the venue, the Vienna Stadthalle. The cost overrun for Denmark in ESC 2014 was three times the amount expected, with the final bill costing the previous host €15 million.
A final decision on who will host the ceremony has yet to be made, but it seems highly likely that Austria's 2014 winner, Conchita Wurst, will be heavily featured, with her message of tolerance and acceptance.
Conchita Wurst. Photo: APA