The remaining cities in contention to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest, held in the United Kingdom on behalf of Ukraine, have been revealed!
As announced on BBC Radio 2 this morning, the search for our 2023 host city has been narrowed down to:
These cities passed the initial round of checks. Their applications were judged based upon whether or not these cities would adequately meet the EBU’s standards for a host city. The EBU requires that host cities have a roofed venue with a capacity of over 10,000; strong hotel availability; suitable locations for a press centre and Eurovision Village; and excellent transport infrastructure.
The betting-odds favourite is Glasgow, which hopes to welcome the Eurovision Song Contest back to Scotland for the first time since 1972. Back then, Edinburgh hosted on behalf of a victorious Monaco — Glasgow officials hope to mirror history, this time hosting on behalf of Ukraine. Glasgow hopes to host the contest in its OVO Hydro Arena, notable as having featured in Netflix’s ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.’ The city also boasts excellent airport access: Glasgow International Airport is only 20 minutes removed from the OVO Hydro.
Birmingham hopes to make waves as 2023’s host — it previously hosted in 1998, following Katrina and the Waves’ victory in 1997. Birmingham has two eligible venues to choose from: Resorts World Arena and Utilita Arena Birmingham. Resorts World is only around 2.8 miles removed from Birmingham Airport; Utilita Arena is further at about 15 miles away from the airport, but served by public transport.
Liverpool has never before hosted the Eurovision Song Contest — a fact it aims to change. The city’s musical history is apparent by the name of its busy airport, the Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Public transport is ready to send fans straight from the airport to the M&S Bank Arena. In an interview with Variety, Liverpool’s director of culture Claire McCulgan argued that the city is the perfect fit: “As a UNESCO City of Music, Liverpool is filled with joy, color and exuberance which would be a perfect match for Eurovision, and we would take the opportunity to pay tribute to Ukraine.”
Manchester could host a large-scale contest: its massive AO Arena has space for over 20,000 fans. The arena is also only around a 35 minute journey away from Manchester Airport, with transport ready to bring people directly from the airport.
Leeds’ First Direct Arena stands ready for Eurovision, with a very free schedule. Currently, it only has one event scheduled for May. The city also has airport access from Leeds Bradford International Airport.
Newcastle comes equipped with another eligible arena, the Utilita Arena Newcastle, and another major airport, the Newcastle International Airport.
Sheffield‘s Sheffield Arena is ready to go, alongside its nearby Doncaster Sheffield Airport. City councillor Ben Miskell emphasised Sheffield’s ties to Ukraine in a tweet, writing, “in solidarity with our twinned city of Donetsk, we stand ready to host Eurovision.”
The shortlisted cities will now be further considered by the BBC and EBU. Per the BBC, the government of the United Kingdom may be consulted on the decision, but ultimately the choice lies entirely in the hands of the BBC and the EBU.
The final announcement of the victorious host city can be expected sometime this Autumn.
What do #YOU think of the shortlist? Are you excited for these cities, or disappointed for those that didn’t make the cut? Let us know in the comments below, on our social media @ESCUnited, our forum, or our Discord server!