Selection of Eurovision 2016 host city a few weeks away
It was just a few weeks ago that Måns Zelmerlöw sang “Heroes” in the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, securing Sweden its sixth victory.
Currently, one of the most important decisions, the choice of host city, is being worked on at the SVT headquarters, with Swedish cities submitting their proposals.
“A few more weeks”
The Swedish organizers have voiced their desire to have the issue solved by August 31, but in a red carpet interview with Expressen, Head of Delegation and 2013 Eurovision Head of Show, Christer Björkman, stated that they are in “the middle of the process of choosing a city” and that the process would probably last “a few more weeks.”
A stronger Stockholm bid
The obvious candidate for host city, the Swedish capital Stockholm, suffered a blow a week ago when it was revealed that the Tele2 Arena, the organizers’ preferred arena according to rumors, had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with local sports teams. That left Globen, the venue for Eurovision 2000. However, it later turned out that the sports organizers were more open to moving away for the Eurovision period than what was reported at first, letting the Tele2 Arena back into the picture.
Malmö is not out
Several sources had reported to Swedish media that the 2013 Eurovision host city Malmö was not interested in taking on the job once again. However, the head of the Malmö tourism board, Johan Hermansson, has completely denied those rumors to the local Malmö media. “Of course we are interested,” he said to Malmö Lokaltidningen. “But we have to look into if we have the capacity to do it again. There is a lot that needs to add up for a long period of time, not just for the Eurovision weeks.”
“We want to, we are capable, and the conditions are in place”
Sweden’s second largest city, and host city of Eurovision 1985, Göteborg, are keen on stealing the show from Stockholm. “We want to, we are capable, and the conditions are in place,” said Göteborg & Co. event manager Max Markusson to Expressen after a special Eurovision meeting was held to maximize the city’s chances of winning the bidding. With Sweden having hosted Eurovision five times, twice in Stockholm, twice in Malmö, and once in Göteborg, Markusson feels that the city has it coming. However, the aging Scandinavium Arena may work against them.
The three largest cities are not the only ones hoping to call themselves host city of Eurovision 2016. The seventh-largest Linköping is bidding with their Saab Arena, which has hosted several Melodifestivalen shows. And just recently, the neighboring cities of Gävle and Sandviken about 200 kilometers north of Stockholm announced their plans to bid, with the support of the local business partners. The cities propose the Göransson Arena.
While SVT may choose a city within the next few weeks, an announcement is expected no later than August 31. The preliminary dates for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 are May