"Host city when?" - The dates that previous Eurovision host cities were announced
Last month it was announced that the United Kingdom would host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine.
Almost immediately after the announcement, attention turned to which city would host the Contest.
The process for choosing a hosting city can either be long and arduous or, at times, made quickly without fuss.
In total seven cities have been shortlisted for 2023 with the BBC saying the announcement is likely to take place in "autumn", which is roughly anytime between September and December.
So how does this timeline sit in comparison to previous years?
We've taken a look back at when other host cities and their official venues were announced in the last decade.
16 May – Rotterdam 2021
It was on the intended date of the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020, during the broadcast of the replacement program ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light’, that the announcement was made that host broadcasters NPO, NOS, and AVROTROS, along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), were going to host the competition the next year at the Rotterdam Ahoy.
3 July – Oslo 2010
It was announced just days after the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 that the Oslo metropolitan area would play host to the next year’s contest, with host broadcaster NRK stating that it would be the only Norwegian city with the required capacity, venues, public transport and infrastructure capable of hosting the show.
It was announced on 3 July, 2009, that the newly constructed Telenor Arena would play host to the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, held in the municipality of Bærum in the Greater Oslo Region.
8 July – Malmö 2013
On the night of the final of the 2012 contest, the Chief Executive of Swedish broadcaster SVT stated that various venues in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö were being considered. An alternative put forward in the ‘Expressen’ newspaper was the potential of holding the contest in three different venues, with semifinals to be hosted in Gothenburg and Malmö, and a final to be held in Stockholm. However, SVT dismissed the proposal as unfeasible.
On 8 July, 2012, Malmö Arena was selected as the host venue for the Eurovision Song Contest 2013. The idea to use a smaller venue came from the host broadcaster and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) wanting to scale down the escalating costs of previous contests.
8 July – Stockholm 2016
Sweden and SVT appear to have made the 8th of July the day they announce where they’ll host Eurovision the next year when they win, as for the second time in the decade, the broadcaster announced the host city and arena on the same date.
While many cities had placed bids to host the contest, SVT had announced just days after the 2015 contest that their first choice of venue would be the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm. Unfortunately, the venue was unavailable for the multi-week organizational requirement leading up to the contest, leading SVT to instead choose the Globe Arena, which had hosted Eurovision in 2000.
25 July – Lisbon 2018
Five cities placed bids to host the 2018 edition of the contest. Host broadcaster RTP met with the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group at the EBU headquarters in Geneva, and attended a workshop covering several topics related to the hosting of the contest to learn from the experience of Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC following some of the difficulties they had with hosting the previous year.
RTP made the announced on 25 July that they had chosen the Altice Arena in Lisbon over bids from Braga, Gondomar, Santa Maria da Feira, and Multiusos de Guimarães (which was eventually selected to host RTP’s national final Festival da Canção).
6 August – Vienna 2015
While six Austrian cities initially placed bids to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 following the win of drag queen Conchita Wurst, three were eventually shortlisted (Graz, Innsbruck, and Vienna).
In order to accommodate the bids of the candidate cities, host broadcaster ORF and the EBU set back the date that the contest was provisionally planned to be held on by one week, from the 12th to 16th of May to the 19th to 23rd of May.
ORF eventually made the announcement that they had selected the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna on the 6th of August.
30 August – Rotterdam 2020
In the lead-up to the 2020 contest, five Dutch cities placed bids to host the show, including the GelreDome in Arnhem, Brabanthallen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, none of which were shortlisted. The shortlisted arenas were the MECC Maastricht and the Rotterdam Ahoy.
When a “concept agreement” was placed before both organisers in Maastricht and Rotterdam in August 2019. While Rotterdam signed the agreement, the city council of Maastricht discussed and rejected the idea. On 30 August, it was announced during a special television broadcast on NPO 1 and NPO 2 that Rotterdam was to be the host city of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.
2 September – Copenhagen 2014
Five Danish cities were in consideration to host the Eurovision Song Contest following Emmelie de Forest’s win – Aalborg, Copenhagen, Fredericia, Herning, and Horsens.
Eventually, Aalborg and Fredericia withdrew their applications, leaving only Copenhagen, who ended up hosting the event at the B&W Hallerne, Herning, who had hosted the final of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2013 in the Jyske Bank Boxen, and Horsens ‘Fængslet’, which used to be a prison, and lost out to the capital city.
The B&W Hallerne used to be an abandoned shipping container, and even weeks before the Eurovision Song Contest was due to go ahead, it looked completely unprepared to the Heads of Delegation when they visited the site, however, a huge amount of work from a large team managed to transform the interior to the spectacle fans saw around the world.
9 September – Kyiv 2017
In the somewhat chaotic period after winning the Eurovision Song Contest, Ukrainian host broadcaster UA:PBC pushed back the date they were to announced the host city from August 1, to August 24, then to the next day, and then once again until the 9th of September.
The cities of Dnipro, Kyiv, and Odessa made it through to the final round of bidding. Many fans believed the event would be held at the Palace of Sports in Kyiv, where the Eurovision Song Contest was held in 2005, and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held in 2009. However, an ice hockey tournament during the preparation period made it impossible to do so, and Kyiv’s reserve bid of the International Exhibition Centre was instead chosen.
13 September – Tel Aviv 2019
Four cities originally placed bids to host the Eurovision Song Contest following Netta’s win in 2018, including the cities of Eilat (who proposed to connect two port hangars into a hall to meet venue requirements), Haifa (who would need to construct a roof on the Sammy Ofer Stadium), Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv.
After venues in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were shortlisted, host broadcaster IPBC decided on Expo Tel Aviv as the host venue for the event on 13 September, 2018.
8 October - Turin 2022
Following the Italy's win in Rotterdam, 17 cities initially submitted an early stage bid to host the 2022 Contest. This was reduced to 11 cities when formal bids were received by Italian broadcaster RAI.
On 24 August 2021, these cities were shortlisted down to five: Bologna, Milan, Pesaro, Rimini and Turin.
A winner was expected at the end of August but after a lengthy process, Turin was announced the winner on October 8 that year.
12 October – Düsseldorf 2011
Twenty-three cities submitted official bids to German host broadcaster NDR, with eight cities continuing to show interest following the first round. In the end, four German cities made it through to the final round in applying to host the 2011 contest: Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, and Hanover.
Düsseldorf’s bid would see Fortuna Düsseldorf, the city’s football club, move its home matches to the Paul-Janes-Stadion in order to accommodate the Eurovision Song Contest.
On 12 October, 2010, NDR announced that the Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf would play host to the Eurovision Song Contest 2011.
25 January – Baku 2012
Very shortly after Azerbaijan’s victory, officials announced that they would be building a new concert venue near National Flag Square in Baku as a potential venue for the 2012 contest. Other potential venue options included the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium and the Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex, both in Baku.
On 2 August, 2011, the contract to construct the Baku Crystal Hall was awarded. And on 25 January, 2012, it was confirmed that the venue would host the Eurovision Song Contest 2012.
What is the trend in the date of the announcement of the next Eurovision host city?
In all cases except for one, the host city was announced in the calendar year prior to the Eurovision Song Contest being held (although in the case of Baku, most fans and delegations alike had a strong belief it would be held in the Baku Crystal Hall and were just awaiting an official announcement).
Nations also appear to follow one of two routes, a quick bidding process that leads to a decision being made early and usually announced in July (such as was the case with Norway, both of Sweden’s hosting’s, Portugal, and even Austria to a lesser extent as it was announced in early August); or a longer bidding process that leads to a decision being made around September (as was the case with Israel, Ukraine, Denmark, and even the Netherlands for 2020, which was announced in the last few days of August).
So what does this mean for UK?
The BBC do have a big task choosing a winner from the shortlisted cities.
It also has to navigate some tricky internal politics including interest cities from all over the UK including Scotland, the North and the Midlands. .
This also has to be done in collaboration with the Ukraine and ensuring costs do not blow out during a financially tricky time for the broadcaster.
Additionally, with most stadiums having some events booked around Eurovision, a quicker decision will help sort this out but with a level of transparency that ensures all feel it is a fair process.
No doubt a decision will be made during "autumn" but when that will actually fall, is anyone's guess at this stage.
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