On Thursday the mayor of Haifa told Time Out that his people would be submitting an official bid to become Eurovision 2019 host city. And today Israeli media are reporting that Haifa will be joined by three other cities in an open tender process: Tel Aviv, Eilat and, of course, Jerusalem.

Echoing an evening news report from Channel 20Haaretz reports that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a conference call on Friday. Speaking with the country’s Attorney General and its Ministers of Finance and Communications, he said that he would respect “any decision” of the European Broadcasting Union.” The government, in short, will not interfere with the selection process — despite his earlier insistence, and that of numerous politicians, that Jerusalem already had hosting duties sewn up.

It seems that the EBU is as open-minded. Despite its reported upset over comments from various politicians, which pre-supposed Jerusalem as host city, it’s reportedly fine with Jerusalem hosting — so long as there is a detailed tender.

The paper claims that members of the EBU will meet with officials from KAN — Israel’s broadcaster — next week to discuss the bids submitted by the four cities.

We’ve not seen their bids. But here’s a quick overview of what each city has to offer (and in alphabetical order).

Eilat

Israel’s southern port city is known for its natural beauty. The resort town rests on the Red Sea and is surrounded by beautiful mountains. Its geographic location and healthy tourism industry means it offers plenty of hotels, restaurants and, of course, beaches.

Lonely Planet says describes it as “brash, ugly and almost inevitably crowded, a place where being scantily clad and sunburned is the rule rather than the exception.” EuroClub, calling!

Haifa

The mayor of Haifa, Yoni Yahav, described the city’s offerings well when speaking to Time Out.

“Haifa has all the means and it meets all the conditions for hosting the contest. It’s a peaceful city and a symbol of coexistence, and is very worthy of hosting the competition. We have the Sammy Ofer stadium, which seats 31,000 people.”

“Although it needs roofing, the municipality of Haifa would pay for the construction, and we have a train station, we have impressive hotel rooms all over the city, and we would also make sure of additional hotel rooms if needed. We have a small international airport and our transportation is active during Shabbat.”

Jerusalem

It’s one of the most historic cities in the world and holds immense significance for Christians, Jews and Muslims. And while its international status is disputed and highly controversial, all sides agree it’s home to some of the most important buildings and religious sites in the world.

And it has plenty of experience hosting Eurovision. The International Convention Center, which hosted Eurovision in both 1979 and 1999, is considered too small for Eurovision 2019. It has a capacity of just 3,100, which wouldn’t work with the new super-sized Eurovision, which includes two semi-finals, a grand final, and, more typically, tens of thousands of audience members.

The Municipality of Jerusalem has floated two potential venues.

Jerusalem Pais Arena

Teddy Soccer Stadium

Tel Aviv

Israel’s second most populous city boasts a stunning Mediterranean coastline and attracts more than 2.5 million international travellers every year. They stay at hotels at every price point — from hostels to über luxe — and enjoy some of the wildest nightlife in all of the Middle East. We’re huge fans of the city and have attended the last three editions of Israel Calling.

There are three potential venues.

Bloomfield Stadium is a 14,000-capacity football venue currently undergoing renovations that will raise its capacity to 29,000. It’s scheduled for completition in 2019, but would need a roof. Its hosted acts including Rihanna and The Black Eyed Peas.

The Tel Aviv Convention Center is a significantly smaller venue which hosts a minimum of 45 events a year. There are a variety of Pavilions of varying sizes.

And finally the Menora Mivtachim Arena, which is used primarily for basketball, can host around 11,000 for sporting events, but just 6,000 people for concerts

Which city appeals the most to you? Where do you want to see Eurovision 2019?

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Danny
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Danny

There is an article that the orthodox parties realised that there’s no way to avoid rehearsals during Shabat and they demand to host Eurovision “anywhere else but Jerusalem”. That marks Jerusalem out. Those guys have a lot of political power, plus the EBU will happily use this excuse to avoid hosting in Jerusalem.
https://www.mako.co.il/news-military/politics-q2_2018/Article-f98ba1f144ff361004.htm?sCh=3d385dd2dd5d4110&pId=1434139730

ninasublatti
Guest
ninasublatti

we all know in the end it will be pais arena in jerusalem – the safest and most boring option

Anita
Guest
Anita

Netta said: “People make an elephant out of a mouse” at 1:54 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THK5Jbm8gZo

Anita
Guest
Anita

Hey William, have you seen this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8mB2nsRJ4U

Danny
Guest
Danny

They completely ignored her pride performances while writing about Eleni performing in Madrid.. I guess they have their preferences.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Love Eleni, she’s great…but she’s also getting too overrated by this fandom. Fuego was never an Eurovision winner song.

J’adore
Guest
J’adore

They also ignored Netta at good morning britain and taking over Time square! Boooooooooooooo on you wiwibloggs – I’m really disappointed by the way they keep ignoring her success 🙁

LLilah
Guest
LLilah

Also Netta interviewd by BBC…

John
Guest
John

Yep WiWi continues to ignore Netta ever since she won. They were pissed because their calculation was wrong and are bitter.

jdplatt
Guest
jdplatt

If they can find a way to put a roof on the Teddy, I think the EBU and Israel should push for Haifa 2019. Save yourselves the headaches and potential boycotts. You’ll still have the Tel Aviv pre-party, right?

jdplatt
Guest
jdplatt

I meant the Sammy Ofer Stadium, not the Teddy in Jerusalem.

Ana
Guest
Ana

I’m pretty sure there won’t be Israel Calling this year. Seems weird to bring the contestants to Israel twise while the country already spending huge money on Eurovision itself

MiniPack
Guest
MiniPack

Every year its the same… COVER THE STADIUM, they say…
So let’s finish this off with some realness: Nobody covers a stadium for Eurovision. Israel won’t do it.
Result: Jerusalem Pais Arena 2019 by default.

Danny
Guest
Danny

Nah, Pavilion no.2 in Tel Aviv is a contender. I wouldn’t mark it out so fast.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Copenhagen covered the Parken for the 2001 contest, so it has been done before.

Hugin
Guest
Hugin

Parken was no roofed because of ESC 2001. The plans to roof Parken was made before DK won ESC 2000.

LawStudent
Guest
LawStudent

Cover the Stadium they shall!

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

OK. This is a whole lot of big decisions. Jerusalem is probably going to host it even though their arenas aren’t as impressive when it comes to capacity. Eilat doesn’t have an arena which is a shame because it looks lovely. Tel Aviv certainly is an option but I just don’t see it hosting Eurovision. Then there is Haifa, which is my favourite because it has the beauty, the arena and everything else. But if the EBU choose Jerusalem, they’re not going to do themselves a lot of favours.

Jane
Guest
Jane

Julie Pearson is British citizen beaten to death in Eilat and police doesn’t want to investigate. I’ve heard Eilat is mafia center.

Danny
Guest
Danny

So now one unsolved murder case makes the whole city ”a mafia center”? Then half of the cities in Europe are mafia centers.

Jane
Guest
Jane

I don’t want to offend anyone, but police doesn’t want to investigate, is not just unsolved case, the real investigation hasn’t started. And some people just say Eilat should be avoided, that is naive to go there in the first place.

Danny
Guest
Danny

Some people say? Who? Eilat hosts above 2 million tourists a year. So who are those “some people” you’re talking about?

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Millions of people visit Eilat every year and I have been there myself a few times already (Israeli).
It’s totally fine there, don’t worry.

Nura
Guest
Nura

It’s as safe as any other tourism city. The main reason to avoid it is that it’s friggin’ hot as hell, year round. Like, 40 degrees and up.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Eilat has to be one of the ugliest cities ever. Let it be Tel Aviv, c’mon!

Oscillate
Guest
Oscillate

I wonder if you have been to Eilat before…

Oscillate
Guest
Oscillate

Haifa is not a bad choice!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

It’s going to be in Jerusalem tho. They won’t waste money putting roofs on stadiums if they already have an arena ready to host it.

LawStudent
Guest
LawStudent

The stadium in Jerusalem needs a roof too though lol

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Jerusalem has an arena. This stadium thing… It’s every year the same talk, but it never really happens. “If you like, put a roof on it” .

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

“[the EBU is] reportedly fine with Jerusalem hosting — so long as there is a detailed tender.”
So the Times of Israel and Haaretz were wasting everyone’s time with their fake reports.
I am getting pessimistic about next year’s contest already, so much misinformation and bad feeling already

Malia
Guest
Malia

How their reports are fake if there’s indeed an open tender? The quote says that Jerusalem has not been automatically ruled out and still has a chance to host.

Eilat -ENJOY
Guest
Eilat -ENJOY
Landing at Eilat Airport
Guest
Landing at Eilat Airport
kiriakos
Guest
kiriakos

can’t wait for eurovision 2020!!!

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

Asking as Russia, Azerbaijan or Israel don’t win haha

LawStudent
Guest
LawStudent

Its between Haifa and Tel Aviv. The mayor of Eilat just spoke to Ynet News this morning saying his bid will encompass building up a massive tent complex that could somehow fit ~10000 people. He doesn’t even understand that it needs to be a closed venue and a tent type structure (even a closed tent) won’t cut it. Eilat was Israel’s tourism capital in the 90s but those days are long gone. With Jerusalem becoming the political issue that it is, and after two years of hosting there, I think it will be a battle between Haifa and Tel Aviv.… Read more »

Danny
Guest
Danny

Why do you expect people to travel 2 hours between the village and the venue while you can just cover Bloomfield stadium and have everything in one place? How is it a good idea?
Eilat’s bid is a joke, I heard him talking about the “tent”. A simple check would reveal that in 2017 Odessa suggested such tent structure and got refused because a tent can’t hold hundreds of tons of lighting and sound equipment. They are waisting their time because they are too lazy to check previous bids.

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

Odessa suggested a Chernomorets stadium without a roof, tents were supposed to hold Press center and Euroclub.

Gobio
Guest
Gobio

Train from TLV to Haifa is way less than 2.5 hours. 1-1.5 at max.

LawStudent
Guest
LawStudent

You’re right Gobio my bad…! Still Danny’s question is valid even for an hour to an hour and a half. I guess my response to that is that I don’t know how many people actually commute between the main hall and the village. You make it sound like thats a common commute for people – can you elaborate Danny?

Danny
Guest
Danny

I guess the press and the bloggers do this a lot and they are several thousands. So no, a regular fan will not go from the village to the press center several times a day. But the bloggers and the media do. And there is zero chance the EBU allows those places be 100km apart of each other. There is simply no reason to do that.

LawStudent
Guest
LawStudent

I don’t think that the bloggers and press do it a lot – they do it sometimes. Just looking at the amount of time all the various wiwibloggers spent at the village this year, it wasn’t that significant actually. There is a good reason to do this, and that is quite simply that Haifa has the most realistic arena whereas Tel Aviv has the most to offer casual attenders who are coming mostly for the village and the ESC tourism and not to watch every rehearsal and show. The rules of the competition state nowhere that the village and the… Read more »

Danny
Guest
Danny

Lets be serious, the best ready to go arena is Pais Arena in Jeruz. The second best is Pavilion no.2 in Tel Aviv. Those open air stadiums won’t be covered. I can bet on money it will never happen. But lets say it is possible to cover a stadium (it will double or triple the hosting costs, YAY). Why to shut down a working stadium like Teddy or Sammy Offer for at least half a year, moving all the games and the events away and creating a chaos and financial loss for the teams, when you can cover Bloomfield without… Read more »

LawStudent
Guest
LawStudent

Neither Pais (11,600) nor Pavillion No.2 (up to 10,000 seats) can really meet the standards of contemporary ESC. Lisbon could fit 20,000 and still supply was far below demand, with tickets gone in minutes. I know that technically EBU only requires a venue that can fit 10,000 but if Israel really wants to have a good show (or as Yoav Tsafir, who is bidding for the role of director put it “the best Eurovision in the history of the competition”) they’ll need a venue that can accommodate at least 20,000 people at a minimum. As for Bloomfield – it needs… Read more »

Danny
Guest
Danny

You completely ignore the fact that Bloomfield started its renovation months ago, regardles Eurovision, and with a slight increase of workers will easily be ready before may. Haifa mayor is kashkeshan, because he doesn’t even know at that point how much the roof will actually cost, they should open a tender to companies and see the suggestions. The price might be higher than the budget of the whole event. I don’t know if the city of haifa has 10/20/30 million dollars to spend on one event. As for Yoav Tzafir, another kashkeshan, every country wants to do ”the best show… Read more »

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

Eurovision first of all is a TV contest, EBU does not bother too much with the capacity of arenas. 10k for them is quite acceptable number.

Danny
Guest
Danny

10k is the official demand, while they also ready to go down as low as 8k if there are no better options. Many countries that participate in the ESC don’t have those 20k indoor arenas. So the EBU takes that in mind.

Liam Lindsay
Guest
Liam Lindsay

I do not think it’s wise to host the competition in Jerusalem next year, due to its disputed nature, political indifference, security concerns and religious grounds. (Shabbat) My alternatives would be either Haifa or Tel Aviv. Or. If the EBU deems it too risky to host in Jerusalem the possibility of it being handed to Germany become all the more likely, the reason for this is. Cyprus can’t host it due to civil war and financial strains. And Austria hosted it in 2015 with numerous technical errors. So if not in Israel, Germany would become the next viable host city… Read more »

LLilah
Guest
LLilah

It will be in Israel for sure…Since the Israeli gavrament declared of a non political involvment..its between The Israeli brodcaster and the EBU only. i think both of them will agree on 1 city for sure.
So it will take place in Israel for sure.
unless something really extrem happen.

Malia
Guest
Malia

Lol, as far as I would like Germany to host (I’m an Israeli who lives in Berlin) it will not move out of Israel, now when the politicians took a big step back after Argentina match fiasco, the EBU will have 0 reasons to take it away. I do expect the bid from Jerusalem to be the most spectacular and tempting. But Tel Aviv just finished hosting 250K pride parade with huge parties and tens of thousands of tourists, proving its ability to host safely huge international events with no problems.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Austria did an excellent job hosting in 2015.

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

If Ukraine was able to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017 in a state of war and crisis, and did it well, I do not even doubt that Israel will be able to do everything at the highest level.

LLilah
Guest
LLilah

I think in the end it will be between Haifa and Jerusalem.
Both of them are great choices..though i preffer TLV if its not in Jerusalem.
But im more interesting about the hosts 🙂
I wonder who they will be? I think one of them will be someone who live outside of Israel who have internetional career with perfect english and experience in hosting like: Noa tishbi or Moran Atias..maybe we need to let Brad pitt Girlfriend to host..she is stunning Israeli woman.

Gav
Guest
Gav

Haifa sounds good. Probably the city could benefit from the contest, maybe we can learn something for the contest, maybe Eurovision fans traveling their can embrace the opportunity to discover somewhere new. It seems the less controversial and more inviting option presently.

michael
Guest
michael

but haifa is very polluted no?

Danny
Guest
Danny

If Beijing could host the freaking Olympic games.. Haifa is not even close to that kind of pollution.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

And the air was good in Beijing 2008. I was there.

Vladimir P.
Guest
Vladimir P.

I would really love Haifa to host Eurovision next year:-)

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

(From Israel)
Haifa convinced me that they have what it takes to host the contest and I love that the mayor really wants to host it there.
However, I do think that Tel Aviv suits the Eurovision Song Contest more, but I’d be glad to know Haifa more 🙂
For me, it’s obviously neither Jerusalem nor Eilat, so it’s a race of 2!

Rick Nazarian
Guest

Tel Aviv 2019 sounds so lit. Bloomfield stadium it is!

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

Tel Aviv FTW.
As much as I love all four city, Tel Aviv is the obvious choice. Nice weather, nice beaches, great nightlife, great food.
The other cities are all lovely in their own rights, but Tel Aviv is the most suitable for the ESC experience. I just hope they come up with a decent venue there.
One thing I know for sure – it won’t be Eilat. It’s remote from the center of Israel and the logistics of holding the contest there would be a nightmare.

Iris
Guest
Iris

As an Israeli I would prefer the bid goes either to Haifa or Tel Aviv. Haifa has a great arena and it is the third largest city in Israel, it is less known but it really is a jewel. It is a city in which for years Jews, Christians, Muslims – of all sects, as well as Bahais have been living together peacefully with good neighborly relations even in the most tense periods, which tells you something about the city and its people It could use the international attention and spotlight. Tel Aviv – everybody knows TLV and of course… Read more »

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I am always wary of these huge stadiums. They have to sell 90,000 tickets to three shows.

Please be realistic.

Lloyd
Guest
Lloyd

It’s even more than that. There’s also the jury shows and the family shows. Over the course of week you’re at tickets in excess of 200,000

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Good point, but I’m not so much worried about those, because at least they’re not televised. A half empty is not a good look.

Paul
Guest
Paul

You don’t have to sell out the whole arena – you can corden off certain areas (eg the top section) and it’ll still look full. Been to a few concerts where they’ve done this

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Well then what’s the point in having such a large arena to begin with?

James
Guest
James

Demand and supply.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Have it massive for the final

Adam
Guest
Adam

So what happened to Tel Aviv’s mayor deciding not to bid? (Not that I’m complaining)

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

The initial sentiment was that the contest is definitely going to be in Jerusalem, so TA mayor probably didn’t want to come out as a poor sport.
Now that the race is on, I believe Tel Aviv is in it to win it.

sevzch
Guest
sevzch

IMO the best option is Haifa.. when people think about israeli cities they think about Tel Aviv and Jerusalem i think Haifa should show herself it could be a great host!

Izhar Levy
Member

It is such a boring city. Poor fans 🙁

sevzch
Guest
sevzch

Well i lived in it for 11 years it has never been boring…

Pavel Beck
Guest
Pavel Beck

Haifa looks pretty good! #Haifa2019

Paul
Guest
Paul

I’m so pleased Tel Aviv reconsidered – I’ve wanted to go for ages!

Maya G
Guest
Maya G

Israel is really small. even if the contest is held in Jerusalem or Haifa, both are less than an hour away from Tel Aviv so you can stay in Tel Aviv regardless of the host city.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Tel Aviv yas!

Yanis2Y
Guest
Yanis2Y

Tel Aviv’s mayor said they wouldn’t bid to host. Unfortunately.

Shay
Guest
Shay

He told israeli papers he changed his mind

Yanis2Y
Guest
Yanis2Y

Except Tel Aviv’s mayor said they wouldn’t bid to host. Unfortunately.

Escphbelgium
Guest
Escphbelgium

Next time in HAIFA!
#haifa2019

Jack Lawson
Member
Jack Lawson

It has to be in Tel Aviv. I used to live in Jerusalem and outside of Haifa and I’ve been to Tel Aviv and Eilat many times. Eilat is fun but it’s a more of a resort town than a city and they have no venue. More importantly, Eilat is surrounded by hours of vast, empty, desert in every direction. It would be difficult at best to take a day trip during Eurovision Eilat to go to say, Tel Aviv for the day, especially with thousands of tourists wanting to do the same thing. Haifa is a big city with… Read more »

MiniPack
Guest
MiniPack

Correct, BUT, TLV doesn’t have a suitable venue. The Menora arena has ~5/7K seats for concerts.

Jack Lawson
Member
Jack Lawson

Unfortunately, there’s no suitable venue in Israel right now. One is going to have to be built, or an existing one is going to have to be renovated.

Malia
Guest
Malia

Does this look like a small venue? It’s in Tel Aviv. Plus Tel Aviv has a 30K football stadium, if roofing is the thing.
https://youtu.be/U1vKZDW8yWQ?t=2m42s

Skimur
Guest
Skimur

Actually it does. It looks much smaller even than Kyiv`17 IEC and it could only hold ~8000. Besides, IEC had an additional adjacent building for the press center and other utilities that looks like Pavilion 2 does not have.

Pablo Nava
Member

Tel Aviv just seems like a perfect city to host, between compromises and advantages. Has seen little conflict and has so much going on it would add to the party atmosphere. It would be an amazing host with likely little expenditures.

Danny
Guest
Danny

If politics won’t be involved – it will go to Tel Aviv. Almost hard to imagine a better host for this event. The venue will probably be Pavilion no2 in the exhibition center (I believe the capacity will be around 8k). If they do want huge spendings (which I doubt), they can cover the Bloomfield stadium which is under huge renovation right now and can contain 30k people. Haifa is too far from the international airport, demands a complex and expensive covering project, plus I’m not sure they have enough hotels. Eilat, well, is that a joke? Eilat’s biggest indoor… Read more »

Jack Lawson
Member
Jack Lawson

This sums it up perfectly. It has to be TLV.

MiniPack
Guest
MiniPack

“Pavilion no2 in the exhibition center” has 6K seats. It won’t be able to host. TLV, while the best city for Eurovision, doesn’t have a venue for it..

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Six thousand seats is plenty. Why would that stop it from hosting? It is entirely possible, especially considering the tiny convention center that lasted hosted the contest in Jerusalem. The EBU should not insist on outrageously sized arenas purely for the hype.

MiniPack
Guest
MiniPack

It’s not the EBU, its KAN. They want a large arena that will enable fans to actually buy tickets and not be disappointed when only 2000 tickets are released to the public. And of course they want the big tourism numbers out of this

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Why would a television station care about tourism? Nobody can predict the amount of fans that will be willing to travel anyway, so better a small arena. The hype over visitor numbers is always way oversold.

Danny
Guest
Danny

6K seats with the temporary tribunes of the venue. If you take a look at them you can see there’s plenty of space to build larger tribunes than those. The building is 20m high. The tribunes can be twice as tall as those that are in use now.

Curve
Guest
Curve

Haifa looks interesting. Either they should host there or in Tel Aviv.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Jerusalem has the best potential venue, but for atmosphere and lack of potential for political disputes, I’m saying either Haifa or Tel Aviv would be the better choice.

sevzch
Guest
sevzch

haifa has the best poteintial venue because tedi stadium has very poor acustics while sammy offer is just really good

MiniPack
Guest
MiniPack

Pais arena is the only choice that fits the EBU list of demands. NO other city has a venue that EBU can agree on right now. Israeli can not cover a stadium with a roof in such a short amount of time (and please don’t mention Azerbaijan.. its a totally different situation in Israel. It will take YEARS after approvals to cover such a huge stadium). Anyway, its Jerusalem by default..

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I prefer Tel-Aviv. Not because of the political issue involving Jerusalem, but because Tel-Aviv has never hosted the contest, while the former has hosted it twice already. I think it would be great to go to a different place.
And before I leave, let them show us Tel-Aviv!

MiniPack
Guest
MiniPack

I prefer it too, but there is no venue in tel aviv for it