The next bid to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is in and it’s coming from Leeds. It is the second city from the county of Yorkshire to put its name forward, following Sheffield. Of all the bids coming in, the Leeds one seems to be the furthest in its steps.
Leeds city council contacts BBC
Many of the bids that have come in in the past days have come from local councillors or celebrities aiming to plant the seed for a bid. Several bids are looking more serious. London has Mayor Sadiq Khan supporting them, with Glasgow having Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon backing them up. Finally, the leader of the City of Manchester, Bev Craig, has supported her city’s bid as well.
Leeds are now the fourth city to have important back-up from the local authorities. James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council and Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy and culture, have contacted both the government and the BBC to put their name forward.
It goes without saying that Leeds will be bidding to host Eurovision in 2023. Together with ASM Global, the operators of the first direct arena in Leeds, we have already been in touch with both the Government and the BBC to discuss our plans. Leeds has already proved that it has the capability and capacity to host major international events and ASM Global successfully hosted Eurovision in the Avicii Arena, Stockholm Sweden in 2016. Given that we will be mid-way through the Leeds 2023 year of culture, it could not come at a better time.Leeds City Council
Back to Yorkshire?
Eurovision has travelled to the county of Yorkshire once before. Back in 1982, the BBC surprised many Europeans by picking the relatively small town of Harrogate to host the Eurovision Song Contest. Harrogate, the twelfth biggest city in Yorkshire, doesn’t seem a likely candidate to host Eurovision ever again.
Leeds have offered the First Direct Arena to host the contest next year. The arena, which was opened back in 2013, was voted best new music venue in the world in 2014. It has a capacity of approximately 13,000 spectactors. First Direct Arena is conveniently located in the city centre. The city also has a nearby airport and the facilities to host the audience and delegations of the Eurovision Song Contest. With the steps the council of Leeds has already taken, their bid may be one of the most serious ones yet.
In the United Kingdom, many cities are seemingly lining up to bring the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 to their cities. Below, you can find the full map of cities lining up. They include cities like Glasgow, London, Cardiff, Sheffield, Manchester and the most recent UK Eurovision host city, Birmingham. Meanwhile, The Guardian have suggested the EU could be preparing a rival bid for Brussels to host. At the same time, Prime Minster Johnson has said he wants the contest to take place in Ukraine after all.
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