Built in 2015, Pavillon 2 at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds has hosted the European Judo Championship and Festigal, an annual Israeli song and dance show for children. And now reports coming out of Israel suggest it is the most likely venue for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.

Yes, despite Prime Minister Netanyahu’s early insistence that Jerusalem would host Eurovision 2019, and despite Sports & Culture Minister Miri Regev’s very vocal stance on the matter, Tel Aviv has emerged as a favourite to host the contest.

That’s according to a Haaretzreport, which cites an unnamed senior official within Israel’s Finance Ministry.

KAN — the country’s Eurovision broadcaster — is in the middle of negotiation to secure a budget for the show, and it’s expected to land somewhere between $16.6 million and $22.1 million. After the Treasury issues the official budget, KAN can launch the host city bidding process. As part of the process, city officials must show that they can work within the financial constraints.

Although Jerusalem has hosted Eurovision twice and has a solid venue in Pais Arena, the Finance Ministry official suggested the city may struggle to cope with the size and scale of modern Eurovision. The Eurovision schedule, which includes weeks of rehearsals, would conflict with the Sabbath, which Jerusalem’s Orthodox community honours. And then there’s the issue of Eurovision Village, where fans without tickets party hard around the clock. The mayor’s recent resignation adds another confounding variable to the mix.

The Fairgrounds — also known as the Tel Aviv Convention Centre — are most definitely enthused by today’s report.

Tamir Dayan, CEO of the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, told Haaretz: “If it is decided that Eurovision will not take place in Jerusalem, we will be happy to host it.”

It has a capacity of around 10,000, which makes it nearly half the size of Altice Arena in Lisbon, which can hold around 18,000 (though it should be pointed out it held around 11,000 during Eurovision after removing seats for the stage and green room).

Here’s how the convention centre describes itself on its web site:

“A smart, versatile space, the only one of its kind in the Middle East, which allows literally every dream to come true. The pavilion stretches across 50,000 sq m and rises to a height of 20 meters without the use of pillars. The central space can be divided using acoustic partitions that have been developed specifically for this project, which can accommodate a number of events simultaneously and in perfect harmony and with unparalleled sound quality. The innovative and steadfast floor foundations allow trucks to reach all the way to the other side; its ceiling pillars can withstand extremely heavy loads which will allow exhibitions at a standard never before seen in Israel.”

As we’ve previously reported, it’s thought that four cities will submit bids: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Red Sea resort town of Eilat, and Haifa, which is known for its stunning Bahai Gardens.

While the official thinks that Tel Aviv is the most viable option,  he or she also states that Haifa is still in the race. However, the Eurovision production schedule likely conflicts with the match schedule of Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Haifa — two football clubs that use the Sammy Ofer Stadium.

What do you think about today’s report? Do you think that Tel Aviv is a good alternative to Jerusalem? Do you think this report is more viable since it’s sourced from the Finance Ministry — which is privy to financial considerations? Or do you think that Jerusalem is still going to take this? Let us know down below. 

Read more Israel Eurovision news

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ADIR
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ADIR

Haifa offers the ability to organize huge events, beautiful landscapes, different cultures and diverse areas that can be easily increased for hosting Haifa Stadium also has a very large communications platform and VIP rooms that can be converted into mission rooms. The stadium is the only one walking distance (half a kilometer) from a train station and a central bus. It is very important that this will allow tens of thousands of people to get to the stadium from hotels in other cities on foot. The Route can be partially closed during the week of the competition to make it… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

Dear ESC fans, please check this out: http://www.fairs.co.il/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/pavilion-2_hadmayut_13.09.16.pdf It’s a Pavilion 2 in all possible audience/stage configurations. Judge it by yourself. The only feasible for the contest scenario is configuration no 4 with 6971 people inside. 7k is fine, but then the stage must be very small and remember that every year a stage is not 100% adjacent to the wall of the venue. Stage for such a show requires a space for itself. In Lisbon it was about 10-15 m from the wall. Plus, remeber that we need a lot of extra space for props. This year all the… Read more »

Danny
Guest
Danny

Dude, those configurations are completely irrelevant. They calculate those according to the capacity of their portable tribunes, which are half the hight of the building (I guess because it’s easier to move them in and out). For Eurovision they can build much larger tribunes and get at least 8K with a big stage. Pais arena might be nice but the orthodox community and the BDS will turn this whole thing into a total mess. Nobody needs that. Those numbers in the link will be totally different in Eurovision configuration, wait and see.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Orthodox community was supposed to ruin whole show in 1999 and since when Israelis care so much about BDS? Sweden was supposed to boycott the contest and now they have just started submission process for next Melodifestivalen. Irish deputy PM recently said that a boycott is not an option. If the tribunes are half of the hight of building there is a reason for that. Perhaps they can lift them up a little bit but ESC is a huge TV undertaking. It requires tons of lighting equipment etc. Besides higher tribunes will comsume more floor space. The same issue was… Read more »

Danny
Guest
Danny

The Orthodox community has doubled or tripled itself in Jerusalem in the past 20 years, while non religious people keep leaving the city, so their influence grew as well. You know that very well. There are 3 times more rehearsals than in 1999 plus the jury final. The Israelis can dismiss the BDS but the EBU are the ones who run this show. And you can say the BDS do not have any influence but did Leo Messi visit Jerusalem before WC? No, he didn’t, the whole team didn’t. You know that as well. If Jerusalem had Altice arena style… Read more »

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

Keep writing BS, in fact it’s a Shoe Box Venue comment image The Eurovision will never be there.
Haifa 2019 here we come

Danny
Guest
Danny

Lol, I will come back and mock you here when this gets officially picked.

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

Yes probably in your dreams it will happen

Danny
Guest
Danny

Dude, I’m not the one who’s dreaming about a 15m $ roofing project in Haifa (or wherever) that supposed to be planned and built in less than 10 months. In a country where it takes to complete the tiny Teddy roof a good couple of years now, not mentioning that they are replacing the old seats there for years and still not done (a job that can take literally several days). I’m the realistic person among us, you’re the dreamer.

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

I really don’t care if it Haifa or Jerusalem I will live with this two options, I just saying talking about Tel Aviv hosting is crazy and unrealistic, Never remember Eurovision with so tiny Venue(ESC 99?)

Ana
Guest
Ana

Lets say that about 190m people watch the show, among them about 11k attending live (like in the past 2 years). That makes the live audience 0.0057% of the total viewers! So do the hosting country need to get out of its skin to provide a bigger venue that it doesnt have? No, its absolutely pointless. You can have 8k people and film it in a way it will look like much more. It’s a tv show. Stop this pointless ”too small” disscussion. 0.0057% doesnt worth doubling hosting costs to roof stadiums or building a new arena.

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

Actually Yes, the Israeli people are very passion and many of them excepted to attend Eurovision, the atmosphere is amazing Haifa excepted to be full with 30K people for all three shows.
Be sure the government wil not invest 25-30 million euro for private show with only 6K people.

Ana
Guest
Ana

The government is not the one to deside. The EBU will go for the safest option, and the safest option is using an existing venue. Read the story of the Ukrainian bid in 2017. It’s all repeating itself.

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

What is not safe in Haifa? Peaceful city live there together Jews and Muslims, great choice for Eurovision.

Ana
Guest
Ana

Safest option is using a venue that is ready. Not a safe option is to hope that a roofing project will be done on time, that they won’t run out of budget half way through and that this rappidly planned structure won’t collapse when they hang all the heavy equipment on it.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Why is it so freaking hard to give it to Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv? It’s perfect for Eurovision!!!

Danny
Guest
Danny

Because it fits 8K people with a small stage, and without cameras. The field there is tiny. In Eurovision format it will be less than 6k. And because you have pavilion no.2 next to pavilion no.1 that can become the press center and delegations hub. Why do you prefer a smaller and much older venue to a one that has so many advantages?

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

Actually in Pavilion 2 and Menora can get in same number of people 6K , Two bad options

human melovina
Guest
human melovina

Eurovision 2019 will not be in Tel Aviv, it will be 100% in Jerusalem. Don’t yourself deceived.

AndyLamp
Guest
AndyLamp

Nadav Guedj could make some serious money with the upstart “Golden Boy Tours” – where Nadav shows fans around the city. I know I would let him show me Tel Aviv.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Probably the best reason to host it in Tel Aviv, not to mention that he was a top-10 finisher.

What is the smallest venue (in terms of seating capacity) to host this contest since 2000?

Danny
Guest
Danny

I would say Skonto Hall in Latvia 2003. It has an official capacity of 6.5K and it must have been even fewer in Eurovision format, as it usually occurs. Palatz Sprotu in Kiev 2005 had around 8.5K spectators, not too big as well. Others seem to be at least 10K or at least close to that. The funniest fact is that Kiev 2017 and Lisbon 2018 had almost similar capacities during ESC, but people keep calling Kiev venue “small”. Some people are hopeless.

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

Mr. Danny wants to break a record since 99 last time Israel hosting with only 3K, now in Tel Aviv it can double up for 6K, it’s off course a joke relax we have in Israel big arenas with 10K and 30K seats it will be there.

Ana
Guest
Ana

You really need to chill. What will you do if this pavilion hosts eventually? Commit suicide? Just relax already

Joe
Guest
Joe

You think this’ll shut up the BDS people? There’s an Irish contingent that’s still apparently shaking their fists at the whole thing (what I find fascinating is that the group now includes the guy who designed the set for Riverdance and the host in ’97 – both happening in years that Israel wasn’t a participant in).

RICK
Guest

who even takes Bds people seriously? They will be barking all year round but racism and antisemitism will get them know where and they have no influence in anything so who even cares what they say?

Joe
Guest
Joe

Here’s hoping you’re right.

Escphbelgium
Guest
Escphbelgium

I’m still hoping for #Haifa2019

Shlomi Arbeytman
Guest
Shlomi Arbeytman

Fact = Tel Aviv Hall 6,470 square metres Kiev 2017 Hall 14,000 square metres
It’s a very tiny hall can’t host the Eurovision!
Next time do your research, don’t copy rumors from fake news sites it’s embarrassing

Gobio
Guest
Gobio

Well obviously additional space would be added in the case of the arena being chosen, in the form of industrial hangars at the sides of the arena or tents. Just enough for meeting the demands.

Cookie Nation
Guest
Cookie Nation

That was what the 2014 solution in Denmark, wasn´t it?

Clever1
Guest
Clever1

I can totally see this. I’ve seen illustrations of Bitan 2 with plenty of space for a big stage with 8,000 seats. The Green Room can absolutely be in an adjacent room/rooftop. Sure, it will be on the smaller side, but will compensate with a great location and an excellent vibe. Haifa is an interesting option, but roofing their stadium is a big uncertainty. Eilat has no venue and is too distant. And Jerusalem may not even join the bidding process because of the Shabbat issue. Altogether Tel Aviv would be an excellent host, so LET’S DO THIS!

Ayub Kara
Guest
Ayub Kara

Yes keep dreaming hold the Eurovision on this shoe box venue, Bjorkman just laughing at you naive people

Benzi Gopshtein
Guest
Benzi Gopshtein

LOL guys you don’t know what you talking about, the article based on fake news from Israeli reporter.
The fact is Pavilion 2 can hold only 6000 people(in front stage not 360 degree) and the hall is half the size of the Kiev hall in 2017.
It can’t be in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa are the only options.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Totally agree. ESC 2019 will not be held in Tel Aviv. Jerusalm or Haifa, and the end it will be Jerusalem. All these candidature cites is just to pull the wool over EBU eyes. It’s just a sign of goodwill of KAN (Israeli gov). ESC in Jerusalem is a raison d’etat.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

If organisers are just thinking about Eurovision as a television show, it can be held anywhere with a venue big enough. But if they’re thinking of it in terms of a festival, with fans travelling from all around the world to experience Eurovision week, then Tel Aviv is the obvious choice. Eurofans need to have a fun time not just at the song contest itself. Tel Aviv seems like the perfect location!

Liam Lindsay
Guest
Liam Lindsay

It will be Haifa plain and simple. Jerusalem has far too many issues and complexities for it to be a host city. Tel Aviv has a lot but, No real venue for it to host it (I know that Bloomfield has 14,000 seats and is currently expanding to 29,000 but construction won’t be completed until mid-late 2019 and they will have to roof it as well) so, in my view Tel Aviv is unfortunately out. Eliat won’t host it, there is just no way that Israel will pull a Azerbaijan and construct a new arena solely for Eurovision, there’s just… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

The Eurofans can hardly expect multi-million dollar extravaganzas to revolve around their vacation plans, though…it is a publicly funded event and organizers’ first responsibility is to the viewers at home. The festival aspect to the show is nice, but not something that die-hard fans should feel entitled to – especially if they have experienced it on numerous occasions before.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

if the green room and the stage are going to be located on the hall, then there will be only 5.000-6.000 people…. thats not great…

Joe
Guest
Joe

Somebody already said there’s a terrace they can put the green room in. The green room doesn’t always have to be in full view of the audience, that’s a pretty recent thing (first I think in 2012, then I don’t think again until 2014).

Gobio
Guest
Gobio

Imagine Just how cool would a green room in a dome under the sky could be. Like with fireworks and the view, just a suggestion.

Danny
Guest
Danny

There is no EBU rule that states the green room should be within the hall. It should be close to it. There are some small convention spaces in the lobby, if they have removable walls (which they might), they can be converted into one 320 square meters room. Is this enough for a green room? Not sure, but in worse case it will be on the terrace. There are 3 elevators there, bathrooms and even a kitchen. However you look at it, this venue has a solution for everything.

Joe
Guest
Joe

The picture here even kind of looks like a cool Eurovision stage. They could make some neat design choices with a space like this.

If you want a huge venue to host again, hope that the UK or Belgium send a good entry. Or even the Czech Republic, they’ve got a huge arena in Prague.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Or Amsterdam 😀

beccaboo1212
Guest

If Eurovision moves to Amsterdam, the best venue would be the Ziggo Dome. 🙂

ninasublatti
Guest
ninasublatti

Eurovision should be hosted in big stadiums and arenas, not in small sh*tty convention centers like this and the one in Ukraine

Danny
Guest
Danny

Well, you are not the one to decide where Eurovision should or should not be hosted.

ninasublatti
Guest
ninasublatti

it’s the biggest tv show in the world!!! Why the fck would anybody host it in a small wedding venue like this??? Whyyyyyy????????

NoGeoblocks
Guest
NoGeoblocks

Eurovision should be hosted in the country that won it the previous year. Keep your opinions and foul mouth to yourself

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

What for? empty seats, like in Kyiv?

beccaboo1212
Guest

Convention centers and small venues can look a lot larger on television. 🙂 I learned that when knowing about the venue for Junior Eurovision 2016.

srulik
Guest
srulik

I think pavillion 2 is the best venue if Samy Offer stadium(haifa) falls short. the tel aviv convention center is located in the city’s northern side, linked to the Israeli railway(the statin is 200 meters away) and lots of buses and the Ayalon highway. it is a great location and Eurovilage can operate from the adjacent Hayarkon park or Rabin swuare wher Israel calling was held this year.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Israel Calling takes place in Tel Aviv. It’s gonna be interesting

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Maybe give it to Haifa this year.

RICK
Guest

Ugh i hope we dont get a tiny arena like ukraine 2017 -.- Cant they just roof Bloomfield?

Danny
Guest
Danny

Please tell me what was wrong with the 2017 arena? How on earth it was tiny if it had a very similar capacity to Lisbon (there were no 20k people in Altice Arena during Eurovison, there were under 12k while in Kiev around 11k).

RICK
Guest

look at the kyiv ‘arena’. It was a like a big conference room. Lisbon was a proper Arena.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I agree, the Kiev hall was max 10k and very small but it’s Ukraine so there were no expectations. The Lisbon arena looked amazing, it’s Eurovision a big TV show that everyone wants to attend and Tel Aviv is a big city very gay friendly which will attract a lot of fans and locals will go watch the show. They should host it in Menora Mivtachim Arena.

Joe
Guest
Joe

10,000 is a fine number. The Kiev arena could hold 11,000 so what’s the big deal. Altice Arena is one of the biggest indoor arenas in Europe so you can’t expect every country to match that. I think it’s the perfect venue.

KESC
Guest
KESC

No, the problem is that even the Altice Arena, which has a capacity for 20,000 people, did only welcome 11,000 people. Pavillon 2, however, has only a capacity for 10,000 people. With the construction of the green room and the stage, there will be only about 8,000 people in the arena, which is a really low number for such a big event.

Danny
Guest
Danny

Eurovision is a TV show anyway, the live audience is just a part of the set, and even 8k people will make enough noise to make it look big and impressive. Besides, I’m pretty sure the green room will be outside the main hall, which will increase the capacity.

Joe
Guest
Joe

But how many people got squeezed into Kiev? If that’s only a little bigger and the show went on without a hitch, I don’t see why not.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Not many people wanted to travel to Ukraine due to the limitations and the civil war but the truth is that the crowd is what makes Eurovision and the Kiev crowd was boring.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I do not care about the crowds at the arena. They are not the priority. Like Danny says, it is a television event – the crowds get way too much air-time anyway. The same faces at the front every year, the locals pushed to the background…the fans who travel every year are important, yes, but the show does not revolve around them.

Alex
Guest
Alex

It is a big deal because many people want to attend but the shows is easily sold out in small venues

ninasublatti
Guest
ninasublatti

that is wayyyy too small UGHHH

Gobio
Guest
Gobio

While I prefer Sammy Ofer, Pev. Number 2 holds a lot of advantages, it’s in Tel Aviv, which is perfect for esc, it has better logistics as it holds many televised events and shows, it is located in a huge center with a big bunch of other pavilions that could hold a green room, conference, esc village etc’ and it is located just next to a train station.

Danny
Guest
Danny

What I was saying from the beginning. I knew that Pavilion no.2 will attract the EBU more than any other venue in Israel.

Bram
Guest
Bram

I would love to see Haifa hosting ESC 2018!

Yanis2Y
Guest
Yanis2Y

Perfect city, perfect arena.

Matt
Guest
Matt

“It has a capacity of around 10,000, which makes it nearly half the size of Altice Arena in Lisbon.”

I thought that the working capacity during Eurovision 2018 was much closer to 10,000 than the arena’s listed capacity of 20,000.

KESC
Guest
KESC

In fact, as far as I know there were only about 11,000 people in the Arena. Maybe the problem is the green room, and the stage, which take a lot of space.

Danny
Guest
Danny

I remember the number 11500. I think that the green room was huge in Lisbon and took a lot of space. Pavilion no.2 has a big roof terrace which could be a location for a green room. They can build a temporary glass structure and place the green room in there.

Alex
Guest
Alex

There were more than 11k people in arena hence the big applause in every performance (unlike Kiev). However, the green room and the stage takes a lot of space hence EBU has the minimum threshold of 10k spectators.

Emre Dinç
Guest
Emre Dinç

10.000? Come on, Israel. You can do better.

Danny
Guest
Danny

Israel does not have big indoor arenas like many European countries due to its weather. There’s no point of building and maintaining big and expensive indoor stadiums while the country has 9 months WITHOUT ANY RAIN. Thank god they built the Pais Arena and Pavilion no.2. Because if Israel have won in 2014, we would have to settle for a much smaller venues.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Honestly, the EBU could’ve probably been safe hedging their bets with an outdoor venue, given how little rain there is in Israel. But I guess better safe than sorry?

Juan Cena
Guest
Juan Cena

Yeah, EBU should give Israel a waiver in regards to rules requiring the contest to be held in a facility with a roof. All the major outdoor music festivals stream live these days, so being in a stadium shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

Cookie Nation
Guest
Cookie Nation

But you know about Murphy´s Law, right? 😀

Nico
Guest
Nico

I think tel aviv would be great