Eurovision fans are dying to plan their trips to Eurovision 2016 in Sweden and are eagerly awaiting SVT’s announcement about next year’s host city. In our mind, only three cities — Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö — have the facilities and infrastructure to host one of the biggest events in the world. But Martin Österdahl, the executive producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013, has revealed to Sweden’s 8 to 5 that a number of cities are interested in hosting, and that SVT will consider them all before revealing its choice by the end of August. The bookies at UNIBET don’t seem to buy that there is actually a race on. They’ve revealed their first set of odds for which city is most likely to host, and the obvious contenders — most notably Stockholm — lead the way. Let’s take them in turn…
At the moment, the oddsmakers at UNIBET have the Swedish capital Stockholm down as the odds-on favourite to host at 1.15. As we’ve already discussed, the capital has three venues that seem like likely candidates — Globen, Friends Arena and Tele2 Arena. Nightlife, restaurants, hotels….the ABBA Museum — the city has what it takes to keep tens of thousands of visitors entertained during their time at Eurovision.
In second place we have Göteborg — that’s Gothenburg to all us foreigners — which is the only one of the three biggest Swedish cities that has only hosted Eurovision one time. With odds of 4.75, it still has a chance to bring the contest to the Scandinavium, where is regularly hosts heats of Melodifestivalen. In recent years the international media have raved about the city and, more generally, the West Coast of Sweden, describing it as a destination in its own right (and not merely an after-thought of Stockholm). Journalists praise its world-class seafood, gorgeous archipeligos and activities like sailing and kayaking. Could Eurovision 2016 be the city’s time to shine?
The bookies’ third-favourite city to host is Malmö, which is still fresh in our minds from the 2013 contest. We are not yet convinced that SVT would want to showcase Malmö again so soon. But Österdahl praised the city repeatedly in his interview with 8 to 5. “Given how good it was the last time in Malmö, it is obvious that we are happy for a new discussion with Malmö,” he said.
You can also place a bid on “others”, which currently has odds of 31.00. Several other cities have small venues that have, over the years, hosted Melodifestivalen. They include Östersund, Örebro, Helsingborg, Lidköping and Örnskoldsvik. If you can say that list three times fast you deserve to get your stake back at a rate of 31 to 1!