Manchester is another of the cities that has thrown its hat into the ring to be a potential host of Eurovision 2023. Manchester has attracted significant attention among the lineup of host cities due to the location of BBC studios in Salford. Here’s what we have so far about the possibility of a Eurovision in Manchester.
Bidding process has commenced
The EBU, which produces the annual competition, announced yesterday that it was in talks to host with the BBC in the United Kingdom, having concluded it is impossible to host in Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict.
No final decision on the host city has been made, but regional figures were quick to suggest that their city was best placed to host. So far a bevy of cities have made statements indicating potential bids to host alongside Manchester: London, Glasgow, Belfast, Liverpool, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Sheffield and many others…
Manchester is the largest metropolitan area in the UK that has not hosted Eurovision before, as London and Birmingham have both played host to the contest before. London hosted in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977, while Birmingham hosted the most recent contest to take place in the UK, in 1998.
Where could it be in Manchester?
The Manchester AO Arena is the city’s main arena – with a capacity of 21,000, it is the highest seating capacity of any indoor venue in the UK and is the second-biggest in Europe, which would make for a huge Eurovision. However it is a busy venue and already has shows booked for next May, meaning a hosting there would have to overcome rescheduling obstacles.
There’s also a new arena being built in Manchester, the Co-op Live, with a planned capacity of 23,000. However the current proposed opening date is in December 2023. Therefore it is unlikely that this location would be ready in time.
Many other film studios, music and sporting venues are possible around the city. There is of course the BBC’s studios at MediaCityUK, with an event capacity of 6,500. The 02 Apollo Manchester venue has a capacity of 3,500. Manchester also regularly hosts huge open-air concerts in various sporting stadiums and parks, though this would be a huge break from Eurovision norms.
Support for Eurovision in Manchester?
In lieu of an official bid as of yet, statements from various figures in Manchester’s government have been made, including Night Time Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord and Leader of the City of Manchester Bev Craig. Craig was retweeted by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham. They emphasise Manchester’s music culture and the benefits that bringing a huge international competition to their city could have:
Manchester would have no problem with connections as the nearby Manchester Airport is the third busiest airport in the UK. It’s also the busiest outside of London, with regular flights all over Europe.
It would be convenient for BBC infrastructure also, with a large proportion of their operations based in Salford, Greater Manchester, one of the BBC’s main national bases. This includes the BBC Eurovision production team, who just finished a move to Greater Manchester this year.
Many potential host cities around the UK
Here is a map of a large number of the potential bids so far. It doesn’t include all of them, however Manchester is present. ESCXTRA.com will bring you updates on all of the bids in the upcoming days.
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