Sunderland have become the latest city wanting to host Eurovision 2023. City councillor Dominic McDonough has urged city leaders to bring the contest to the county of Durham for the first time ever. With his idea, Sunderland are the fourteenth city to express the wish to host.
Sunderland councillor: “If Millstreet can do it…”
In his tweet, councillor McDonough, who represents the Conservatives in the Sunderland City Council, says he has started the campaign to bring Eurovision to his city. He adds that the United Kingdom have often stepped in to host when other countries were unable to. The BBC have indeed done so four times before: In 1960, 1963, 1972 and 1974.
The final statement McDonough makes is “If Millstreet can do it…”. With that, he refers to the tiny Irish town which hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 1993. Lots of investments were made to bring the contest to the village there. However, Eurovision has radically changed in thirty years. Chances of a town like Millstreet hosting ever again are tiny.
Venue depending on constructions
Currently, it seems the city of Sunderland does not have a suitable venue to host the Eurovision Song Contest. The Stadium of Light, home to the once dominant football side of Sunderland, is the most logical option. With a capacity of 49,000, the stadium would be the second largest venue ever. However, football stadiums have gone out of fashion as Eurovision arenas. The last time a football stadium was selected as host venue was back in 2011, in Düsseldorf. Furthermore, the Stadium of Light would be depending on the construction of a temporary roof. Proposals like that have not had much success in recent years.
The other option is the new Sunderland Arena. Earlier in 2022, the Sunderland city council approved plans to build a concert venue with a capacity of 10,000. This sounds much more like a potential Eurovison venue, looking at the past few years. However, it is unknown when the arena will be ready and with only ten months to go before the stage needs to be done, a completely new arena seems unlikely. Only Azerbaijan pulled that off back in 2012 with the Baku Crystal Hall.
An airport nearby is also crucial to be a successful host city for the Eurovision Song Contest. Sunderland does not have its own airport, but Newcastle Airport is close. A little further sound, we find Leeds Airport as well.
Fourteen cities so far
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 Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, 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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