Previous competition winners have backed Belfast as the ideal city for the iconic contest as the UK has been confirmed as the host country for 2023.
Belfast has been named the ‘ideal city’ to host the next Eurovision Song Contest, with all the previous Irish winners backing the city’s bid.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest with their song ‘Stefania’. However, due to the ongoing Russian invasion, the country is unable to host the next contest.
Thus, the responsibility of hosting the next event passed to the UK, who claimed second place at the 2022 contest.
The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest ‒ Belfast in the running to host
With confirmation that Ukraine would be unable to host next year’s contest, the job passed to the runner-up country, the UK.
Since then, there has been much discussion about which UK city would be best to host the iconic event. Belfast has been mentioned numerous times. Now, it has even been named the ‘ideal city’ to host the next Eurovision Song Contest.
The competition would massively boost the Northern Irish economy by an estimated £20 million. Hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, and other hospitality businesses would see a huge surge in business over the duration of the contest.
It is also expected to boost areas such as security and pedestrianisation in inner city areas. Various arts and engineering sectors will also benefit from preparations for the contest.
Belfast named ‘ideal city’ to host next Eurovision Song Contest ‒ backed by previous winners
Ireland has previously won the Eurovision Song Contest seven times, making it the most successful country in the contest. Now, all of those previous winners have voiced their support for Belfast as the next host city.
Various UK cities, including Manchester, London, and Glasgow, have already submitted ambitious bids to be the host of the next contest. However, Belfast City Council has not yet had a formal consultation about the potential of hosting.
Thus, the previous Irish winners have come together to trigger some interest in the city for next year’s competition. The ultimate decision will rest upon the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union in consultation with the UK Government.
Support within Belfast City Council ‒ three councillors putting Belfast forward
The previous Irish winners are not the only ones who think Belfast would be the ideal city to host the next Eurovision Song Contest.
So far, three Belfast City Councillors have joined forces to try to prepare a bid for the autumn deadline. The SDLP’s Seamas de Faoite, the Green Party’s Anthony Flynn, and Alliance’s Micky Murray are prioritising the bid as a matter of urgency.
The European Broadcasting Union sets out certain standards a city must meet in order to be considered as a host for the contest. Belfast meets all three requirements.
They state that the venue must accommodate 10,000 spectators, and Belfast’s SSE Arena can seat 11,000. The city should also be within easy reach of an international airport.
Belfast fits the bill with Belfast International and Belfast City. Elsewhere, Derry City and Dublin Airport are just over an hour away.
Finally, the European Broadcasting Union states the host city should have ample hotel accommodation. Belfast has at least 9,600 hotel rooms, which is twice the amount that the Union agrees will be needed.
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