So we now know that Malmö will host Eurovision 2013, after a lot of debate and the potential of record breaking 65,000 in the Friends Arena in Stockholm being rejected, what is the future for Eurovision and who can potentially host the contest in the future.
Eurovision has now become a stadium event, on one hand this gives credit to the contest in terms of being an international entertainment event, mind you headaches for the host country but on the other hand it ironically it poses the question “does this limit the potential for some countries to host the contest in the future?”
There has emerged an almost virtual audience ceiling limit of around 15,000 capacity stadiums for hosting the Eurovision Song Contest as being considered a creditable venue, yet so few members of the EBU can actually accommodate those numbers.
In 2011 Azerbaijan had to commission and build a 20,000 seated arena, all within 6 months, but for the most part other EBU countries would have to make do with that the facilitates that already exist. Therefore given this virtual 15,000 minimum indoor capacity there are only an estimated 30 venues in Europe that could facilitate a Eurovision final, and even the current seating capacity in many of these would have to be reduced by up to 25% to allow for the staging and support settings.
Using the 15,000 capacity as a guide the most likely venues for future Eurovision Song Contests are:
|Austria||Vienna Wiener Stadthalle||16,000|
|Belgium||Sport Paleis Merksen||23,000|
|Ethias Arena Hasselt||21,600|
|France||Palais Omnisports Paris||18,000|
|Italy||Turin Olympic Stadium||18,000|
|Poland||New Karkow Arena||15,000|
|Spain||Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona||18,500|
|Palicio De Deportes Madrid||15,500|
|Jose maria Martin, Malaga||18,000|
|Turkey||Sinan Erdem Dome||22,500|
|Earls Court, London||19,000|
|Manchester Evening News||21,000|
Putting this into context, the “Place of Sport” that hosted the 2005 contest in Kiev only holds 6,000 and therefore could not host a future contest. The “O2” in Dublin can hold 14,000 standing but for Eurovision it would most likely be reduced to ,8500-9,000 at best, so a cow shed in Milstreet would be totally out of the running.
Furthermore smaller island nations like Malta, Cyprus etc would struggle to find a suitable indoor venue, they could potentially risk an outdoor stadium, but it would be a big risk?
Inland The Netherlands have the 10,000 Ahoy Stadium and of course the Ajax arena however given the contest is usually in mid May and that is still the football season, unless the contest was to be at the end of the month there is little likelihood of the Ajax being option.
So has Eurovision grown too big for its own good or can smaller stadiums still work?