The host city race for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is shaping up nicely. After Jerusalem and Petah Tikva, there now seems to be a third city to throw its hat into the ring: Haifa. The Mayor of the city has expressed his desire to bring Eurovision to the Sammy Ofer Stadium.
Official bid sent
Yona Yahav, the Mayor of Haifa, has stated that they have submitted an official bid to the Ministry of Culture and Sport. He claims Haifa is one of the most peaceful cities in Israel, which is very proud of the coexisting cultures there.
The desired venue would be the Sammy Ofer Stadium. The football arena can hold over 30,000 people and faces a similar issue to the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem. Neither arena currently has a roof. Yahav has stated that the muncipality of Haifa will cover the costs of a temporary roof over the Sammy Ofer Stadium.
That same muncipality will also make sure enough hotel rooms are available. If that isn’t the case at the moment, they will build extra hotels. The city does have an airport, although that is not used by many international airlines. From Israel’s largest airport, Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv, it’s a ninety minute drive to Haifa.
Petah Tikva, Jerusalem or Haifa?
Soon after Israel’s victory last month, the host city race kicked off. Jerusalem is still the frontrunner to host the event. However, the certainty Netta and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had when saying Jerusalem would be the host city is now not as obvious anymore. If the Israeli government get their way, the city would host the contest. Potential venues would include the Jerusalem Pais Arena and the Teddy Stadium.
Petah Tikva was the second city to announce its desire to host the contest. The city has just one ‘minor’ issue, as they currently do not have any suitable venues. If chosen, the city would need to construct a venue within nine months.
Fans were hoping Tel Aviv would also throw its hat into the hosting ring. The city hosts the largest Eurovision pre-party and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Israel. However, its Mayor soon confirmed that they were not interested in hosting the contest.
What do you think about Haifa’s desire to host Eurovision? Let us know!