Does soccer tourism pay?

So the Euro Cup has arrived. Walking through downtown Basel today, I had to wonder wheather all the expanses incurred for infrastructure here will pay off.
There are lots of vendors, selling everything from kebap to beer. The supermarkets and department stores are all open – on a Sunday. Manor has a sign out front advertising they will be open for the whole of June. I didn’t see too many clients though.

Even though there is the Art Basel in parallel right now, I doubt this will generate that much extra business. So I wonder; will this be enough to recover the extra expenses for manpower and sales booths etc.?

Apart from that, there is the bad weather, which might cut down on revenue, as well as the glorious fan zones. There you actually have to pay to get in and don’t you dare show up advertising a brand that isn’t on the sponsor list. This includes picking a shirt at random from your closet before going downtown. A friend told me that a local band playing at some of the events here is not even allowed to advertise themselves. They are forbidden from mentioning their name while they are there, wheater they are onstage or not. And to show just how ridiculous this is, they have to tape over the brand names on their equipment. So if your bass says fender, you have to cover it up.

Then there are the public screens in the middle of one of the bridges crossing the Rhine. They face toward the river on both sides. About a hunderet meters away there are seats; these face the opposite bank. That’s about the dumbest thing I have seen in a long time. Anybody know wheather you have to pay in order to get a stiff neck there?

I so hope this will be a commercial fuckup.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Does soccer tourism pay?

  1. eardrummer

    nice write-up. my thoughts exactly.

    i actually saw them put up those huge screens on the bridge thursday evening and couldn’t help but wonder what the fuck that was all about. and then those bleachers by the river? WTF? my first thought was that they were gonna put giant screens right in the middle of the river. (no idea if you have to pay for those seats.)

    it’s all part of the “bigger plan,” though. all the people sitting there will get stiff necks, like you said. then they’ll have to go to the doctor’s afterwards who’ll prescribe them meds which, in turn, will boost novartis and roche’s revenues.

    yesterday, i was hoping we’d get a monsoon-like rain for the first match. but we didn’t. bummer!

    the thing about the brands and shit is new to me. that’s seriously outrageous. it makes me wanna go down there sporting my Nike cap, Puma t-shirt, and Adidas sneakers. wonder what these fuckers would do then.

    anybody care to join me in a subversive protest?

  2. louiszyphire

    I think, if you show up in Nike shoes or something it’s not a problem. But if you have a shirt desplaying Corona instead of Carlsberg, then you are in trouble…

  3. bananero

    …alright, alright, I’m also one of the people who put a big question mark behind all the talk about the “fussball-fest” (months before it started!), behind the organized fun, leave alone the uefa-rules on advertising.

    BUT, seriously, what’s the point of being grumpy for the rest of the month? does that make it better? It’s the same as with the “fasnacht”-haters. hey, nobody forces you to be enthusiastic about the event. but it happens to be a fact that it takes place, just as the euro 2008. so why not make the best out of it – or leave town?

    I hardly dare to mention this here, but just in case someone is looking for a place outside the downtown fanzone: there’s also public viewing (yes, I don’t like the expression either) in the kuppel/acqua/etc. they put up about 20 flatscreens all over the area. I guess they originally planned to charge an entry fee, but since the austria-croatia game yesterday attracted – and I am not being overmodest – less people than there were flatscreens, they let you in for free.

  4. louiszyphire

    I don’t think anybody plans to be grumpy for the rest of the month. I watch the games, I have fun, and I can’t wait for this to be a commercial disaster anyways.
    Besides this not something you can just get away from. This is a medial broadside on the consumer. Everything right now is displaying a football or some other reminder that it is time to shop if you like soccer. Just look at the way the sponsors are being featured right before every game, “brought to you by Rotmeat, ExplodoElectronics and Drivemeagainst the wall”. Seriously this is an affront to the senses and you can’t just get away. This goes on for an entire month, this would be the alloted vacation time for the entire year, and just to not be near the EM? I think not.

  5. andbehold

    I’m not even a big footie fan, but I could live with the pseudo-hype and the ridiculously long chain of bandwagons everybody’s trying to hop onto. Every shop, whether they actually sell a product related to footie or not, has its windows stuffed with little Swiss crosses, balls, hats, fuckin Carlsberg paraphernalia -> free advertising etc. I can live with that.
    What I can’t get over is how much the public hand puts into these “festivities” in order for them to be a success. So the states (cantons) finance the damn thing with the infrastructure, police, blocking streets, building shit, etc. and the UEFA is expecting a billion francs in profits.
    The canton of Baselstadt was actually planning to give all state employees an extra week of vacation next year, but sadly that ain’t gonna happen cos the EM2008 (TM) ended up costing many times the amount they’d planned. So scrap the vacation, you lot. As long as the UEFA palace on the Züriberg is looking nice, I’m happy. Vacation for hard-working people is overrated anyway.
    (We are stuffing the stuffed turkey while there’s not enough money to run our city as it is. That’s what takes the cake for me.)
    End of rant.

  6. eardrummer

    Here’s some first-hand information somebody gave me yesterday:

    The organizers of the “public viewing” area at Kaserne had to fire a total of 60 (!!) temporary employees the day before yesterday or so, because no fans could be arsed to show up. This might be the beginning of the “commercial fuck-up” you’re waiting for.

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