NTU, Ukraine’s state broadcaster, opened the bidding process to select the Eurovision 2017 host city last month. Since then a number of cities have joined front-runners Kyiv and Lviv in expressing their interest, with Kherson, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Odessa all stating they are ready to take on the project. Kherson, we’ll have you know, is just 63 miles from Crimea.
The first phase of bidding concludes on July 8 and two shortlisted cities will be announced by July 22. The race is likely to be tough and unpredictable, especially after the recent statement from the country’s Minister of Culture that there is no suitable venue in the country.
Let’s have a look at the four new entrants…
Odessa is situated on the banks of Black Sea, near Moldova. It’s so close we think you might just be able to feel the vibrations of Epic Sax Guy thrusting across the border. Ukraine’s third-largest city is an architectural gem that at times seems more Mediterranean than post-Soviet, as it serves Italian, French and Bohemian-style realness. The only suitable venue in “Odessa mama”, as the locals call their city, is the Chernomorets Stadium, a football arena that has a capacity of 34,000. And guess what: It doesn’t have a roof!
Dnipro, known as Dnipropetrovsk until May 2016, rests on the banks of the Dnieper River and is known primarily for its industrial sector. In the 1940s the Soviets built a military machine-building factory in the city. In the 1980s one plant manufactured 67 kinds of space ships and a variety of space rocket systems (which could have come in handy for Lidia Isac’s Eurovision 2016 performance). Dnipro Arena, which holds up to 31,000 spectators for football matches, is the most likely venue.
Kherson was the last city to join the bidding process, having signed up on July 5. The small city —population 330,000 — has a rich history of shipbuilding. Unfortunately it’s less than 70 miles from the Crimean border, which won’t sit well with uneasy fans or the overly cautious EBU, and there is no suitable hall or venue for the event. In other words, the chances of Kherson hosting Eurovision are less than Rykka’s chances were of qualifying for the final.
Kharkiv — Ukraine’s second largest city — is one of the few in the country that has a subway. But it’s not on top of the tourist list — and that’s despite having the massive and picturesque Freedom Square, which is the sixth largest in Europe. It’d be the perfect place for Eurovision Village and boasts a giant 16-metre high thermometer to let fans see temperatures rising. Metalist Stadium, which has a capacity of 40,000, would need a roof installed.
Do any of these cities float your boat? Where do you want to see Eurovision 2017 take place?