The race to become the host city of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is coming to an end with an announcement expected within weeks. Three cities are believed to remain in contention after submitting official bids last week: Eilat, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Now, during an official visit in Malta, Israeli Minister Michael Oren has told Maltese broadcaster TVM that Tel Aviv is now the “most likely” option.
Jerusalem lacks the resources
Indeed, Oren tells TVM that Jerusalem “does not have the resources and facilities to meet Eurovision [requirements]”. Therefore, Oren states that the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will “most likely” take place in Tel Aviv. This is despite, he says, Netta’s claim it would be held in Jerusalem immediately following her victory on stage in Lisbon.
Furthermore, Oren believes that this decision would be beneficial on two accounts. Firstly, it is a city that has the resources required to host the contest. Secondly, it would avoid any potential misunderstandings or controversies that Jerusalem may bring.
Hosting bids are submitted
Last week, the deadline passed for interested host cities to submit their bids to host broadcaster KAN. Eilat’s main proposal is to connect two hangars to create a hall with a capacity for 10,000 spectators. Jerusalem’s venue of choice is the Pais Arena, with a capacity of over 15,000. Finally, Tel Aviv has opted for the Tel Aviv Convention Center which can also hold 10,000 spectators. Therefore, all three of these venues would satisfy EBU requirements regarding both capacity and the selected venue being indoors.
One final hurdle?
In recent days, it has been revealed that the 12 million euro financial guarantee required to be given to the EBU has yet to have been provided. The CEO of Israeli broadcaster KAN has written to the Israeli Minister of Finance for the money. However, so far the Israeli Government has declined to pay up. The EBU requires the guarantee to be transferred before the end of the month.
Would you be pleased if Tel Aviv is selected as the 2019 host city? Or, would you prefer Eilat or Jerusalem? Let us know in the comments below!