The EBU’s discussions with the UK to host Eurovision 2023 have already started — and British cities are busy jockeying for position.
According to the Birmingham Mail, the city of Birmingham is bidding to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 at the Resorts World Arena. The venue has cleared its diary to bolster their chances.
The second largest metropolitan area by population the United Kingdom, the city is a major cultural hub known for both classical music and jazz. It’s also expert in hosting major worldwide events.
Ian Ward, Birmingham city councillor, has made his intentions known:
“To host such an iconic event would be a tremendous honour for our city, especially in light of such a difficult and challenging time for Ukraine.”
“Our hearts go out to them and as a city we are eager to lend our support in any way that we can. The Concert for Ukraine, held at Resorts World Arena back in March, really showed how music can unite us even in the most uncertain and troublesome of times.”
“We’re ready to step up to the occasion for the people of Ukraine and make music fans from across the world proud.”
Ward’s statement follows fellow Birmingham Councillor John O’Shea’s earlier assertion that the city has hosted, and can host the contest again.
Birmingham has done it before. It can do it again. https://t.co/3zcMEHidme— John O'Shea (@politicalhackuk) June 17, 2022
Birmingham previously hosted in 1998 after British rock band Katrina and the Waves won the 1997 competition with ‘Love Shine a Light’. The 1998 edition was held at the Utilita Arena, formerly known as the NEC’s National Indoor Arena.
Birmingham’s bid venue – The Resorts World Arena
The floated venue for Birmingham’s bid, The Resorts World Arena, is located in Solihull, and has a capacity of up to 15,000 seats. The arena is located opposite the Resorts World Birmingham, an entertainment complex which features the largest casino in the United Kingdom as well as a shopping mall.
The Arena has also hosted major events in recent times, including ITV’s Concert for Ukraine in March, BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2010, 2016 and 2018 as well as the BBC Music Awards in 2015. The city will also be hosting the upcoming Commonwealth Games next month.
Birmingham’s bid for Eurovision 2023 comes after the EBU announced that Ukraine, who won Eurovision this year, will not be able to host Eurovision next year. Other UK cities including Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, London and Belfast have already expressed an early interest in hosting the the competition in 2023.
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