It’s getting exciting in Israel as the announcement of the 2019 Eurovision host city is drawing closer and the bidding race is narrowing. There have been further developments in Israel, with more news cropping up regarding the potential Eurovision host cities.
According to local media, only three cities have submitted their respective bids to Kan in order to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, confirming earlier reports that 2 cities had withdrawn from the race.
Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post reports that the Israeli national broadcaster has confirmed that only 3 cities have applied to host the upcoming 2019 Eurovision Song Contest: Eilat, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Last month, KAN invited four cities to officially submit their respective bids in order to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. Out of the four cities, Haifa has reportedly not applied to host the event and is thus out of the race.
All three bidding cities are doing their level best in order to win the right to host Europe’s favourite television show, with a 2 horse race predicted between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Two-time Eurovision host, Jerusalem, is all set to welcome the 2019 Eurovision edition with open arms. The Municipality of Jerusalem is bidding to host the competition at the Pais Arena in the city’s Malha district. The 47,000 sq meter arena can accommodate circa 11,000 spectators and also has the required space to accommodate 1,500 journalists.
The City of Jerusalem released a press release regarding its Eurovision 2019 showcasing the city’s capacity and will to host the competition, experience of hosting large events such as the Giro D’Italia, Jerusalem Marathon, etc. Jerusalem is an iconic city thanks to its rich historical heritage and thus a very attractive tourist destination thanks to its 3,300 year history.
The major issue afflicting Jerusalem’s bid is the Shabbat, as this could mar the city’s wish to host the event. Jerusalem would have to comprise in order to hold the rehearsals during 2 weekends on Shabbat (Friday/Saturday).
The Jerusalem Post contacted the City of Jerusalem regarding this issue and got the following answer from Ariella Rajuan (Head of the municipality’s Culture and Arts Division):
Shabbat is an issue that is relevant in the entire State of Israel, not just in Jerusalem. Therefore it will be discussed with the Eurovision directors.
The Municipality of Tel Aviv is bidding to host the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest at the Tel Aviv Fair Grounds. The 50,000 sq meter premises is mainly used to host conventions and events. Pavilion 2 has a capacity of accommodating circa 10,000 spectators and has hosted many musical events since it was built in 2015.
Tel Aviv has a very strong bid and seems to be currently the front-runner complying to all the criteria and requirements of the EBU in order to host the event.
The 2019 Eurovision host city requires to meet the following key factors:
- Roofed arena with a capacity between 8,000-10,000 spectators;
- The venue should be freee and available from March-May 2019;
- Infrastructure should comply with EBU requirements in order accomodate lighting and sound equipment and the requiered material for the live televised shows.
But has Tel Aviv already got it all locked up and secured to welcome the Eurovision bandwagon next year? We will have to wait a little bit longer in order to find out the EBU’s final decision.
Eilat, the outsider in the host city race has reportedly put forward a very ambitious and interesting bid with a fresh approach. The coastal city plans to connect two large hangars at its port, and construct a complex between them that will house a venue accommodating circa 10,000 spectators, a Green Room room and a press centre.
Eilat’s bid would entail a massive project requiring the premises and infrastructure to be built from scratch, something that can play against the city’s chances to win the bid.
The EBU would more than likely opt for a city with an existing venue, thus putting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on the forefront.
Kan also confirmed to Jerusalem Post that neither Haifa nor Masada have submitted a bid to host Eurovision 2019, as both cities had reportedly shown interest in hosting Europe’s favorite television show.
Host city and dates announcement
The EBU and host broadcaster are set to announce both the 2019 Eurovision host city and dates by September. Israel will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest for the third time, having hosted the competition in 1979 and 1999.
Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest for the fourth time in Eurovision history last May in Lisbon, when Netta was crowned the winner with her epic entry Toy.