Finally the saga has come to an end. Eurovision 2019 host broadcaster KAN has confirmed that it will pay the €12 million security deposit to the EBU. This ensures that Israel will retain the right to host the 2019 edition of the song contest.
KAN’s confirmation ends almost a month of drama. The central players were broadcaster KAN and the Israeli government. KAN wanted the government to fund the deposit, while the government said the broadcaster had the budget to cover it.
But after days of intense negotiations, the two parties have come to an agreement.
KAN will pay the €12 million security deposit. However, in the chance that Eurovision 2019 cannot be held in Israel due to circumstances not caused by KAN (such as war, natural disaster or political pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement) and KAN loses the deposit, the Ministry of Finance will be available to cover the loss.
While KAN has not given further details of the arrangement, yesterday Israeli media reported speculation that KAN would take out a loan to pay the deposit and the government would ensure the loan would be repaid if the deposit was lost.
To Tel Aviv?
Meanwhile, speculation has intensified over the host city for the song contest. While the official announcement is not expected until September, Israeli media is speculating that it will be held in Tel Aviv.
Newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth yesterday posted on Facebook that “Eurovision is in Tel Aviv. The preferred locations, right now: the Fairgrounds”.
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While Eilat, Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are all in the running to host Eurovision 2019, in recent weeks buzz has started to emerge around Tel Aviv being the chosen location.
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.
The most likely location would be Pavillon 2 at The Tel Aviv Convention Center (also known as the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds), which can hold around 10,000.
Tel Aviv calling? Israel’s @haaretz has quoted an unnamed senior official in the Finance Ministry. The source claims that Pavillon 2 at the #TelAviv Fairgrounds is the favourite to host #eurovision 2019 ?? He or she says it’s the most financially viable and avoids a number of issues in Jerusalem. Haaretz says it has a capacity of 10,000, which is smaller that Alice Arena in Lisbon, which welcomed 18,000. Full story on wiwibloggs.com #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision2019 #esc2019
Tel Aviv has come out in news reports as the favoured city, with Ministry of Finance officials saying it would be the most economically viable option.
It is also considered a better cultural fit for hosting the Eurovision Song Contest. Members of the Jerusalem’s Ultra-Orthodox community have demanded that officials avoid rehearsals during Shabbat, which lasts from Friday evening until Saturday evening — a demand that would interfere with the grand final jury show.
But with the security deposit drama over, contest organisers can now get on with deciding on the host city.