After Måns Zelmerlöw won the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with “Heroes”, Sweden partied all night. But as officials sober up they now face the difficult task of organising the 61st edition of Europe’s favourite TV show. SVT knows how to do that, as it hosted the contest back in 2013 in Malmö. Unlike some other hosts, Sweden actually turned a profit from Eurovision. Will they make their fortune again next year?
It’s expected that several Swedish cities will bid for the honour to host Eurovision 2016. Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm or even Jukkasjärvi, or like Lynda Woodruff would proudly say, Jachundahovi.
Malmo Arena during Eurovision 2013. Photo: Ralph Larmann
We’re pretty sure Malmö won’t be asked to host again so soon. Melodifestivalen tours the country in six different cities every year because SVT wants to spread excitement and involve the entire country in its Eurovision selection process. Letting Malmö host again so soon would seem counter to that mantra.
Stockholm seems the most reasonable bid for the next contest. Since the “Heroes” victory a few days ago, the capital city has already informed SVT that it would like to host the contest next year. Stockholm is an international transport hub with links to the whole world, and a much wider range of clubs and bars and restaurants for Eurofans. Plus there’s the Abba Museum and a Greek Mamma-Mia! themed tavern run by Eurovision winner Bjorn Ulvaeus. Table for 20, please!
The contest is traditionally held in the host nation’s capital. After Stockholm missed out last time, now would be the perfect opportunity. Also, it will cost less, as SVT will not have to ship people and expensive equipment somewhere far-flung.
There are three arenas that could welcome the contest in Stockholm, though the word on the street is that the Tele 2 Arena is the front-runner.
TELE 2 ARENA
The brand new and easily accessible arena with rectractable roof is located right next to Globen, the venue for Eurovision 2000, in the heart of Stockholm. Built in 2013, Tele 2 Arena serves as a football and concert hall. It can hold up to 45,000 and its location makes it ideal for artists, journalists and tourists: None of them want to trek to an island in the middle of nowhere to get to the shows or rehearsals (hello, Copenhagen).
Capacity: 45,000 (for concerts)
Accessible via: metro (Globen Station)
Notable events: Avicii, Madonna, The Roling Stones
ERICSSON GLOBE ARENA
Built in 1989, Stockholm’s oldest arena can host events ranging from Eurovision to concerts to ice hockey and figure skating championships. It is the world’s largest hemispherical building. In 2000 Swedes demonstrated against hosting Eurovision at Globen because it was so expensive. The arena is relatively small — it holds 16,000 for concerts — so might feel a bit claustrophobic.
Capacity: 16,000 (for concerts)
Accessible via: metro (Globen Station)
Notable events: Eurovision 2000, MTV EMA 2000, Melodifestivalen (2000-2012), Eminem, Cher, Celine Dion, Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga
Friends Arena is the biggest retractable roof stadium in the Nordic countries. It opened in October 2012 with a special show attended by Icona Pop, Loreen, Roxette and many other famous Swedish artists. It’s located in Solna, a bit outside of Stockholm city centre. Even so, Friends has hosted the final of Melodifestivalen for the past three years, so SVT knows how to work with it very well. As anyone who has been to Melodifestivalen recently knows, it takes forever and a day to get there, which may make Eurovision feel a bit less connected to Stockholm.
Capacity: 65,000 (for concerts)
Accessible via: railway (Solna Station)
Notable events: Melodifestivalen (2013-), Swedish House Mafia
Although Gothenburg has not been ruled out, Stockholm seems the most likely choice and Tele 2 Arena the most likely venue.
What do you think? Any Swedish readers want to give us their opinion? Let us know in the comments box below!