PHOTO: EBU / CORINNE CUMMING

On Tuesday morning the BBC teased an update about the Eurovision 2023 host city.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast — the broadcaster’s flagship morning show — presenter Sally Nugent said: “Later on today we are expecting an update from the BBC.”

The BBC news site later built on that, saying, “there will be an update about the shortlist of UK cities that could host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest from the BBC on Tuesday.”

Many expect that officials will narrow the existing shortlist, which currently includes seven cities: Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Rumors swirling on social media suggest we may see a two-city showdown…sort of a run-off election.

As the U.K. energy crisis spirals out of control, and as the British pound tanks against the dollar, some cities may have re-considered their bid to host the song contest.  Still others face other logistical problems.

On Monday bosses at Doncaster Sheffield Airport confirmed that it will be shutting down after a strategic review concluded that the airport was “not viable due to its lack of adequate forward revenues and high operating costs”.

It is unlikely that the BBC is going to announce the actual host city. Several EBU officials are currently in Yerevan, following yesterday’s announcement of the Junior Eurovision 2022 slogan and theme artwork. Several heads of delegations, who often oversee their country’s Eurovision delegation as well, are also there.

Who will win Eurovision 2023 host city rights?

 

Birmingham

The floated venue for Birmingham’s bid, The Resorts World Arena, is located in Solihull, and has a capacity of up to 15,000. 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. Earlier this month it hosted the Commonwealth Games. 

Glasgow

Mirroring the results on our informal Twitter and YouTube polls, Glasgow came out on top of our initial Eurovision 2023 host city poll with more than 21% of the vote. The city’s OVO Hydro Arena remains a fan favourite — partly because of its appearance in the Netflix hit Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga — but also because Scotland hasn’t hosted Eurovision since 1972 (and that time it was in Edinburgh). The city proved its ability to hold large-scale events at last year’s COP26 summit.

 
 
 
 
 
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Leeds

It would be amiss of us to talk about famous Loiners without mentioning those who have graced the Eurovision stage. Leeds even proudly holds a gold and silver medal from the Olympics of song. Sandra Stevens took the trophy back to the UK after winning Eurovision 1976 as a member of Brotherhood of Man. One year later, Mike Moran claimed second place at the 1977 contest alongside his duet partner Lynsey de Paul.

Caroline Barnes put Leeds back on the Eurovision map when representing the United Kingdom in 2007 as part of pop quartet Scooch. We can also thank Leeds for bringing together the Czech Republic’s Eurovision 2022 group We Are Domi — Dominika Hašková, Casper Hatlestad and Benjamin Rekstad met whilst studying at Leeds College of Music — and the trio have shown their support for bringing Eurovision to Leeds in 2023.

Liverpool

Harry Doyle — Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy — said:

“Making a major event like this possible in such a short timeframe is complicated and is going to need some careful and creative planning, but we think Liverpool would be the perfect stage to celebrate this unique Eurovision.”

The Beatles aren’t Liverpool’s sole musical export. As the only UNESCO City of Music in England, Liverpool has been commended for its contributions to the musical arts. Liverpool homes a wealth of concert halls and music venues, encompassing genres and styles from around the world. The city’s annual Africa Oyé festival in the largest celebration of African music in the country, attracting over 50,000 people to Liverpool’s Sefton Park every June. Elsewhere, the city is the stomping grounds of many British music greats, including Cilla Black, Atomic Kitten, The Wombats, Elvis Costello, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Coral, and Melanie C of The Spice Girls. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Manchester

It’s home to the world-famous Manchester Arena, which has hosted everyone who is anyone in pop music. The BBC recently moved its Eurovision production hub to the BBC’s facilities in Salford, just outside the city. AJ Odudu even delivered the UK’s 12 points from the area last year. Manchester Arena is currently undergoing major renovation work, but it’s likely they can figure out a workaround and put that on pause.

 
 
 
 
 
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Newcastle

The Utilita Arena Newcastle has a capacity of 11,000 and has hosted global acts including Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga. 

City Councillor Alex Hay of the Newcastle City Council stressed to The Chronicle that the city wants to show support for Ukraine, which can’t host the contest because of Russia’s ongoing war.

“We are delighted to be bidding to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with its people. We are collaborating with partners across the region to help make this a reality for Newcastle, to do Ukraine proud and to embody everything that Eurovision stands for.”

“We’re committed to making Newcastle a better place for our residents and visitors, and hosting Eurovision will be a crucial tool in achieving that.”

 
 
 
 
 
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Sheffield

The city of steel proposes using the Utilita Sheffield Arena, which has a capacity of around 13,600. Since opening in 1991, the venue has welcomed around 14 million people. That includes a lot of hockey fans: It’s home to the Sheffield Steelers ice hockey club. One Direction actually gave their very last performance here before going on hiatus in 2015. In a statement, the city council said:

“Sheffield stands in solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, including those we have long been linked with in our twinned city Donetsk.”

“Sheffield has a proven reputation for hosting major international events – recently including UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, as well as hosting the World Snooker Championship for over 45 years. Later this year, Sheffield will host the Rugby League World Cup, as well as the prestigious figure skating grand prix, the MK John Wilson Trophy.”

 
 
 
 
 
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zsó
zsó
1 month ago

They announced it’s Glasgow or Liverpool!

escJack
escJack
1 month ago

Oml just choose a place already lol

Henno
Henno
1 month ago

I believe the announcement will confirm Glasgow v Machester – however, I’d love for Liverpool to get it. What a real shame that the venue just isn’t large enough…

zsó
zsó
1 month ago
Reply to  Henno

Officially Glasgow or Liverpool!

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
1 month ago

It will be Manchester. Period. Why would they choose to host it anywhere else. You have a 20,000+ capacity arena in the city. A massive ‘heathrow-esque’ airport that can tackle all of the incoming international visitors and delegations. A sizable, preexisting diaspora of Ukrainians living and working in the city. Hundreds of hotels and Airbnbs, in a wide range of styles. A new BBC liason based at Salford, which is only 15 mins from the Manchester Arena. Manchester, as a city is no stranger to hosting large scale events, the city hosts large scale football games annually at Etihad and… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam Lindsay

Sorry, Liam. They’ve just announced that it will be either Liverpool or Glasgow. Manchester is out.

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

FFS

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam Lindsay

Don’t upset yourself. Decisions that make no sense are made all the time. It’s a scary world.

PopperP
PopperP
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam Lindsay

Reading your list of reasons it should be Manchester, people must think in other bid cities they all eat bread and dripping, ride around on penny farthings and have to walk on foot a hundred miles to find any decent facilities, music or culture. its OK to love your city, its OK to feel disappointed to be out of the race, but you so often state your case as if everyone else is stupid for having a different opinion. i know you will come back to me and say “its only an opinion” but, comments like “why would they choose… Read more »

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
1 month ago

All great choices, Liverpool is my favourite, but having the joint smallest capacity may work against it. Manchester is a great shout but would it be better to wait until after the renovations?(needing a UK win of course)

Rifki
Rifki
1 month ago
Reply to  HarpyDarper

Manchester’s proposed venue reportedly have the renovations postponed.

Rifki
Rifki
1 month ago

if it is really a reduced host city shortlist, then I think there are only two possibilities:
– Glasgow and Manchester
– Glasgow and Birmingham
I can see either Manchester or Birmingham being out, but Glasgow will most likely be there.