Who Could Host Eurovision 2023: Part One

LONDON (Fwrd Axis) – Following last week’s announcement from the European Broadcasting Union that the United Kingdom will host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine 16 cities have put their hands up to host the event, this article will look at the first eight.

This article will examine each of the 16 cities to examine possible and probable hosts. The criteria of hosting has four main criteria:

  1. The venue must be hold at least 10,000 spectators
  2. A press center that holds 1,500 (even if the EBU only approves 500 press)
  3. The city must have an international airport
  4. Hotel accommodation for 2,000

 

Aberdeen, Scotland

P&J Live in Aberdeen, Scotland
P&J Live Photo by SilentSpike used under CC BY-SA 4.0 license

P&J Live, the newly built arena can hold up to 15,000 and has already hosted major concerts. It’s the biggest indoor arena in Scotland. Finding a venue for the press center is a bit more awkward. There isn’t an option at P&J Live that will work, and the only other space large enough would be Pittordrie, several miles away.  Unfortunately Aberdeen airport been declared the worst airport in Scotland by Which magazine but it’s almost directly across the road from P&J Live, which has a connected hotel.

Odds Rank: 10th

 

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Odyssey Arena, Belfast - geograph.org.uk - 860741 (cropped).jpg
SSE Arena, photo by Ross, used under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

SSE Arena, Northern Ireland’s premiere venue for indoor events, holds 11,000 spectators and has held major events in the past, including the European VMAs. It’s routinely used for major indoor sport in Northern Ireland. The press center could be in another building in the facility. The airport is well connected, being the capital of Northern Ireland

Odds Rank: 6th

 

Birmingham, England

Arena Birmingham from the Secret Garden (23626942848).jpg
Utilita Arena Birmingham photo by Elliott Brown used under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

Utilita Arena Birmingham holds 15,800 so easily meets the requirements to host. Used as a venue for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games it will be ready for a major event. ICC Birmingham is just a short walk across the river from the Arena so will be an easy venue for press. As England’s second city Birmingham is well connected, Birmingham hosted Eurovision in 1998

Odds Rank: 4th

 

Brighton, England

Brighton Centre, Kings Road, Brighton (from SE) (April 2013).JPG
Brighton Centre photo by The Voice of the Hassocks used under CC0 license

The Brighton Centre only holds 5,000 and is built in the brutalist style which won’t excite the EBU. The only option in Brighton that’s big enough is American Express Community Stadium which holds 31,800. It would also have enough spaces for a media center and delegation bubble. It is an outdoor stadium though which the EBU doesn’t like.

Odds Rank: 14th

 

Bristol, England

YTL Arena proposal
YTL Arena proposal, graphic by Populus, used under fair use.

YTL Arena Bristol is the newest possible venue for Eurovision 2023 as it is currently under construction. The venue will be built close to the train station and anchor a new suburb of Bristol called Brabazon, named after the airplane that was built in the space the arena is going on. The biggest challenge here would be convincing the EBU that the arena can be ready, it would certainly be a great way to open the arena but the schedule has it opening in 2024 not 2023.

Odds Rank: 16th

 

Cardiff, Wales

Principality Stadium May 3, 2016.jpg
Principality Stadium with the roof open, photo by Clint Budd used under CC BY 2.0 license

Cardiff will have an uphill battle with the only bid from Wales, a country well known for its vocal prowess. The venue proposed is the Principality Stadium which isn’t an arena but does have a retractable roof so it’s not immediately ruled out. Holding 78,000 people it may be much too big for the EBU but that space could be cut down and the press center and delegation bubble could be easily housed in the stadium.

Odds Rank: 7th

 

Edinburgh, Scotland

How the Edinburgh Arena might look by night.
The proposed Edinburgh Arena. Image NEC Group used under fair use

The host of Eurovision 1972, Edinburgh currently doesn’t have a venue big enough to host Eurovision. There is a proposed Edinburgh Arena which would be close to the train station. That said there’s no reports of progress in the last two years so it seems unlikely that Edinburgh will have a venue ready that’s big enough. As a sister city of Kyiv it may be a good sentimental choice but sentiment won’t play into the decision.

Odds Rank: 11th

 

Glasgow, Scotland

The SSE Hydro (geograph 5420681).jpg
The Ovo Hydro photo by Peter Moore used under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

Glasgow’s OVO Hydro already has Eurovision hosting experience. Well, not really. The Hydro was the venue used for the film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga which had Glasgow as the fictional host (the contest shots were actually taken at the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv). Glasgow has three major airports and can hold 14,500 fans. The SEC Armadillo is next door which could hold the delegation bubble and/or the press center. It may also play well politically for the UK to choose a Scottish venue with whispers of independence hitting Scotland again. Glasgow has the support of Scottish first-minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Odds Rank: First

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