Another day, another hosting report. After a report earlier today that KAN had launched their tender for the 2019 host city, Haaretz now report that the host city has already been chosen. A Finance Ministry official has told the news outlet that Tel Aviv will host the contest.
Tel Aviv Fairgrounds
Contrary to previous belief, the venue in Tel Aviv would not be the Menora Mevtachim Arena. Instead, the less discussed Tel Aviv Fairgrounds now seem to be the frontrunners. Pavillion 2 there is suitable to host the Eurovision Song Contest. On the official website, the capacity of the venue is mentioned as being up to 10,000.
The fairgrounds date back to the early 1920s, when construction already began. Over the years, it has developed into one of Israel’s busiest convention centres. The newly constructed Pavillion 2 is unique in the Middle East for the amount of options events there get.
No bid from Jerusalem
According to Haaretz, the Jerusalem Muncipality have decided not to bid to host the Eurovision Song Contest. That would also explain why Tel Aviv are back in the race. The Mayor of Tel Aviv was previously heard saying he didn’t want his city to host the contest, as he believed Jerusalem was the right option. The early favourite to host the shows next May received a lot of criticism. This did not just come from a political side of things, but also looking at the venue. The ice hockey club using the Pais Arena was unwilling to move for the Eurovision Song Contest. This would have resulted in Teddy Stadium being the sole option for the contest. The stadium, however, did not have a roof which in its current state would breach EBU rules.
The city of Haifa had the same problem. Their suggested venue, the Sammy Ofer Stadium, would have required a roof for the contest. The last city who spoke about the desire to host the contest was Eilat. That city does however not have a venue at all. Their plan would have included a newly constructed airport, as well as a venue.