Speculation is mounting over the Eurovision 2016 Host City in Sweden. The bookies already have their favourite — the capital city, Stockholm. But the capital’s bid took a big hit today, as both Tele 2 Arena and Friends Arena have ruled out hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.
Tele 2 has preferential soccer contracts which make it impossible to free up space for the 4-6 week window desired by SVT to put together the contest.
Henrik Kindlund, Hammarby’s CEO, told Expressen of Tele 2’s withdrawal:
“It is not on the plan to relinquish the arena for so long. It should not affect our schedule too much. Two weeks would work.”
Friends Arena, on the other hand, just isn’t that into hosting. Despite playing host to the Melodifestivalen final since 2013, Friends has confirmed it isn’t interestested. Ouch.
(Update: Just hours after we published this story, Kindlund has backtracked and says he is flexible. Read more here)
Stockholm’s hopes now rest upon the Ericsson Globe, which has a smaller capacity than the other two arenas but has previous form with the Eurovision Song Contest, hosting the 2000 edition.
The Ericsson Globe’s bid to play Eurovision Host City 2016 isn’t a foregone conclusion though.
Gothenburg, Malmö and Linköping have their eyes set on hosting Eurovision too. Today Swedish media is reporting that the three cities — Malmö, Gothenburg and Linköping — have been given a list of “secret demands” from SVT that must be met to be named the Eurovision 2016 Host City.
The document is reported to be thirteen pages long and includes practical details, although the key requirement appears to be the 4-6 window to put the contest together in the arena.
With Globen the only Stockholm arena left in the running, it seems the chances are increasing for a smaller city to snatch the Eurocity crown.
SVT have refused to comment beyond stating the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 will be decided by August.
Expressen have also today suggested Måns Zelmerlöw and Dolph Lundgren as possible co-hosts for the Contest next year.
Source: Expressen, gp.se, Coreen.se