The city of Bern, Switzerland, doesn't want any more stages of the Tour de Suisse. The city has said that it will cancel its engagement at the end of the Tour in 2009 and will not renew the contract it signed with the Tour three years ago.
City President Alexander Tschäppät told the Si/sda press agency that the city council, along with the local hotel and restaurant association, had made the decision, since their financial expectations of hosting the race's final stage had not been fulfilled.
The contract runs through 2009 and requires an annual payment of 70,000 Swiss Francs to the race. This payment was made not made by the city, but by hotel association Bern Hotelier-Verein and citizen association Bürgergemeinde Bern. Tschäppät said that these groups no longer wanted to pay, and that the city would not use tax money for such a purpose.
Patrick Scherrer, President of one branch of the hotel association, disputed that statement. He said that their income from the race was indeed lower than expected, and that the association had notified the city that it would only pay if the race would end in the downtown section of Bern instead of at the football stadium, as it did this year.
(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)