All the glitter from the past weekend had barely fallen to the ground, before cities around in Sweden started to show interest in hosting next year’s contest, but as it stands, the front runner and expected favorite city to host the contest, might have to surrender the possibility even before things get properly started.
Not Stockholm in 2024?
Sweden might have finally tied the record with Ireland to become the most victories country in the contest, but the record in hosting will still belong to the United Kingdom, who have hosted in place of others in the past. However, hosting the 7th contest in Sweden, after the 7th victory might not happen in Stockholm, since all the possible option, might not be available next year.
With focus on only Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, then there is only 3 real contenders, which are as follow:
- Avicii Arena (Also known as Globen – hosted ESC in 2000 and 2016)
- Tele2 Arena
- Friends Arena
Despite Stockholm having 3 very excellent options, the problem is that the former Eurovision host venue – Avicii Arena(Globen), if anyone wonders – will be under renovation throughout 2024, in order to prepare the arena for the upcoming World Championship in Men’s Hockey, in 2025.
This renders Avicii Arena as completely out of the run, unless some sort of agreement can be reached in order to have the renovation either delayed or started early with an eventual pause when the contest is getting close.
Then what about the other two options, that being Tele2 Arena and Friends Arena? Well, these two arenas are football arenas, which means that the local football teams will have to surrender their stadium for a period of at least 6 weeks, in order to have the contest in Stockholm, which the football teams refuse to agree with.
Tele2 Arena usually hosts the teams of both Djurgårdens IF and Hammarby IF, while Friends Arena hosts the team of AIK. To have 3 teams sharing one arena for multiple weeks would become a logistical nightmare, as well as it would break the contracts that are in place, and the wish of the teams to play on their own and preferred grass.
Interest from Malmö, Gothenburg and Örnsköldsvik
Despite the difficult situation given, Stockholm remains the favorite city to host next year, but that hasn’t stopped other cities from showing their interest in hosting as well. At the moment, only an interest has been shown from the mentioned cities, but Malmö – the host city of ESC 2013 & 1992 – is already set in bidding for the event as well.
There is simply no other option, than Malmö Arena in the city. The arena is the second largest indoors arena in all of Sweden, right after Avicii Arena, and the city has expanded far beyond since 2013, with hotels being built near the arena since then. The city claims to be more than ready for these mega-events.
Should Gothenburg join the race, it is expected to pitch in with Scandinavium, which is the third largest indoors arena in Sweden. Meanwhile, the largest possibility in Örnsköldsvik is the Hägglunds Arena, which is far smaller than all the other expected and presented options so far.
Smaller cities ready to fight
It doesn’t stop there, towns such as Eskilstuna, Jönköping and even Partille (located outside of Gothenburg), all of which who have hosted events in the past, are ready to step in, the moment Stockholm steps out.
The Stiga Sports Arena in Eskilstuna and the Husqvarna Garden in Jönköping have both had Melodifestivalen coming their way in the past, while the Partille Arena in Partille was the host venue for the Eurovision Choir contest, which took place there in 2019.
Despite the previous experience, these arena’s in these smaller towns, might not meet the recommendations from the EBU, since the Eurovision Song Contest is an event of a much larger scale.
In the coming weeks, SVT (host broadcaster of the 2024 edition) will invite everyone interested in hosting the contest, to submit their application for hosting the contest, with the expectation of the host city and venue to be announced somewhere in Autumn.
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Source(s): Dagens Nyheter, Sydsvenskan, Ekuriren, Sveriges Radio and Partilletidning (All in Swedish)
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