Eurovision 2019: Jerusalem prepares its bid to host the contest

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,743 views

Israel is gearing up for the forthcoming 2019 Eurovision Song Contest as both the host broadcaster KAN and the EBU are coordinating to evaluate the potential options on the table. We are yet awaiting the official announcement regarding the 2019 Eurovision host city and the dates. Meanwhile, local media are reporting that the Municipality of Jerusalem is working from strength to strength in order to prepare its bid to host Europe’s favorite television show.

As mentioned in our previous article, Jerusalem seems to be the front-runner to host the event with 2 potential venues on the table: the Pais Arena and the Teddy Stadium. According to reports in the local media, it seems Jerusalem is keen to host the contest at Teddy Stadium and is contemplating building a roof for the occasion in order to comply with the EBU’s rules and regulations.

Teddy Stadium vs Pais Arena

The Pais Arena in Jerusalem already has a roof and accomodate 11,000 spectators

Jerusalem is very keen to welcome the Eurovision bandwagon for the third time in Eurovision history. According to Israeli media the city’s preferred venue to host the contest is the Teddy Stadium which can accommodate circa 30,000 spectators in comparison to the neighbouring Pais Arena, which has a capacity of 11,000 spectators.

But there is a hitch when it comes to the Teddy Stadium, it lacks a roof, one of the main criterias and requirements for a potential Eurovision venue is that it has to be covered. Building a roof would be both an expensive and complex affair.

The Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem

Holding the competition at the Teddy Stadium would enable more spectators to attend the show and would lead to thousands of tourists travelling to Israel to watch the competition live. Hence the capacity of the venue would be three times larger than Pais Arena and this would be prove to be profitable as ticket sales would three times larger!

In order to hold the contest the Eurovision venue has to accommodate at least 10,000 persons, thus the Pais Arena complies very well with the EBU’s requirements. It will be interesting to see which venue will the EBU and the Israeli national broadcaster opt for if Jerusalem is selected to host next year’s Eurovision edition.

Preliminary plan to build a roof

The Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem requires a roof in order to host Eurovision

Meanwhile according to Mako.il, private Israeli construction company DS Constructions LTD has drafted out a preliminary plan to install a roof on Teddy Stadium. The company has taken its own initiative in drawing out the plan, so far neither the City of Jerusalem nor  government officials have approached it regarding this matter.

Mr. Itay Moskovitz (DS Constructions LTD Business Development Director) commented:

We decided not to wait and we started planning a construction that would cover the entire area of ​​the Teddy Stadium. We began to probe the feasibility of the work from our private initiative, and we have yet to receive any requests from officials on this matter.

The details of the plan indicate that this would be both a time-consuming and costly project entailing the following:

  • Installation and initial construction phase in the stadium (lasting 2 months)
  • Laying out the roof and covering the stadium/ final phase of construction (lasting 2-3 months)

Altogether, the plan to cover the stadium is expected to last between four and five months and its total cost is estimated at US $12 million (circa NIS 44 million). The construction cost is estimated at $9 million (circa NIS 32 million), while the cost of the roof itself is estimated at $3 million (circa NIS 11 million).

If the company’s bid to close the Teddy Stadium will be accepted, its members will have to start working at the latest this autumn to finish the work by April, when construction of the stage begins.

A drafted plan to cover the stadium Photo credit: D.S. Constructions LTD.

Jerusalem sets its eyes on Eurovision 2019

Currently, the City of Jerusalem is preparing its official bid to host the forthcoming 2019 Eurovision Song Contest and is coordinating with national broadcaster IPBC (Kan). Jerusalem is considering both the Pais Arena and the Teddy Stadium as potential venues and will be evaluating all options in coordination with IPC.

The Municipality of Jerusalem sets its eyes on Eurovision 2019:

The Eurovision Song Contest is an international event with hundreds of millions of viewers around the world. We see great importance in holding the event in the city and are preparing to do so in cooperation with the government on a wide range of issues – both in terms of the location of the event, both in tourism and in the public relations aspect – in order to expose Jerusalem’s beautiful and varied face to every home in the world.

The EBU is yet to officially announce where and when will the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest take place. Currently both KAN, the Israeli national broadcaster, and the EBU are in discussions regarding the forthcoming 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. More details are expected to be released in due course.

Geneva meeting

The EBU and the new host broadcaster are set to have a meeting in Geneva this month in order to discuss the preparations for the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest.

The Israeli broadcaster is reportedly going to present the proposals from a total of four alleged potential host cities (Tel Aviv, Haifa, Eilat and Jerusalem) to the EBU during their upcoming meeting in Geneva.

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