The race to become Eurovision 2016 host city is hotting up with news about bids and withdrawls coming thick and fast. Today we’ve learned that Malmö will not bid for the contest because several events are already scheduled to take place in Malmö Arena during April and May. And Örnsköldsvik — that’s the seat of the Örnsköldsvik Municipality in Västernorrland County, obvs — has formally expressed interest in hosting inside its Fjällräven Center. If that weren’t enough, front-runner Stockholm has finally submitted its bid — and it does not include Friends Arena.
According to Sveriges Radio, authorities in the Swedish capital want to host Eurovision 2016 in the Globen area, which surrounds (and includes) the Eurovision 2000 venue, the Globe Arena.
“We have several different arenas in the Globe area, but the exact venue we will discuss further with SVT,” says mayor Karin Wanngård. “What we are doing now is proceeding with an application that says we want to organize Eurovision in 2016.”
The other venues are the Tele2 Arena, a brand new football stadium; Annexet, one of the smallest arenas in the capital, with a capacity of only 4,000 spectators; and Hovet, an idoor ice-hockey arena with a capacity of 9,000 visitors.
As we previously reported, the glitzy Tele2 Arena seems promising and there’s definitely the will to make it happen. Although the Swedish football team Hammarby is scheduled to play matches at Tele2 durng the ESC period, the club’s president has said he’s willing to mix things up to help make Eurovision happen.
According to StockholmDirekt, Kindlund said that if someone could present an alternative arrangement for the team then he would consider it. Of course, a team moving for Eurovision is nothing new. In 2011, Germany’s broadcaster transformed Espirit Arena, the home of Fortuna Düsseldorf, into a Eurovison temple. After all, four to six weeks away from home isn’t that much to ask – and absence makes the heart grow fonder!
As for Globen Arena, there is one important reason not to select it. It hosted the contest in 2000. As we know from Melodifestivalen, SVT likes to spread the wealth and share the excitement — that’s one reason Melodifestivalen tours through different cities every year. The Globe has already had its time to shine, so Swedish values would suggest it’s actually a strike against it. Why not showcase the other arenas in the area?
Of course, perhaps none of this matters and we’re all headed to Örnsköldsvik.