Eurovision 2019: Haifa sets its eyes to host the contest

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 4,763 views

Following the mediatic frenzy and speculation surrounding the potential 2019 Eurovision host city, Israeli media is now reporting that yet another contender is vying to host the event next year. Reportedly the northern port city of Haifa is preparing its bid to enter the race to host Eurovision 2019!

According to local media Haifa is set to submit a bid in order to host the forthcoming 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.

In order to host the contest the bidding city requires to fulfill the the following requirements:

  • Stadium/arena with a capacity to accommodate at least 10,000 spectators;
  • Press centre that can house circa 1,500 journalists;
  • Accommodation for delegations/journalists/fans/artists with hotel capacity of circa 3,000 rooms;
  • Efficient public transport system operating 24/7;
  • International airport with international flight connections.

Allegedly, IPBC is yet to open the host city bidding process and invite the potential cities to submit their respective bids.

Haifa is ready for Eurovision!

Haifa has all the appropriate characteristics: a beach town with leisure complexes, impressive hotel rooms, a large stadium with 30,000 seats (Sammy Ofer Stadium, which requires roofing), transportation on the Sabbath, a train station and even a small international airport.

The Mayor of Haifa Mr.Yona Yahav told Time Out Israel:

We have just sent a letter to the director general of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, Yossi Sharabi, in which we expressed our intention to compete for the Eurovision Song Contest. Haifa has all the means and it meets all the conditions for hosting the competition. It is a peaceful city and a symbol of coexistence, and it is very worthy of hosting the competition in every way.

The Mayor of Haifa added:

We will also contact the European Broadcasting Union, and we also announce that we will be ready to install a roof on the Sammy Ofer Stadium, which will be financed by the municipality.

About Haifa

Port city of Haifa

Haifa is Israel’s third largest city with a population of 280,000 and is know  to many as the country’s port city. The  city has a domestic airport with direct charter flights to Greece, Jordan and Cyprus. International travellers wishing to travel to Haifa can fly into Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Aiport and then can catch a domestic flight to Haifa!

Haifa is located 90 km north of Tel Aviv and is famous for its port and beach resorts.

About the potential venue

Haifa’s Sami Ofer Stadium has a capacity of circa 30,000 persons. The stadium currently  lacks a roof, one of the key requirements of the EBU is that the Eurovision Song Contest can only be held in an indoor covered venue. The City of Haifa is ready to cover the stadium if Eurovision comes to town! The Sami Ofer Stadium was inaugurated in 2014 and has hosted many soccer matches in the country.

Four cities eligible to host the contest

According to local media that a total Israeli 4 cities are eligible in to host the mega event next year Israel: Eilat, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem. All four potential cities fulfill the EBU’s requirements to host the contest.

So far only Jerusalem has voiced its wish to host the competition next year, whilst Tel Aviv has reportedly said it will not bid to host the contest. Haifa now joins Jerusalem in the race!

We will have to wait a little bit longer in order to find out where and when the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will take place!

Eurovision host city and dates announcement

Israel won the the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest with Netta‘s Toy and has the right to host the forthcoming edition on home soil.

The EBU and Israeli national broadcaster IPBC are scheduled to have a meeting later this month at the EBU headquarters in Geneva in order to discuss the plans and preparations for Eurovision 2019. More details regarding the 2019 Eurovision edition are expected to be released hereafter.

We must not forget that the European Broadcasting Union is yet to announce the 2019 Eurovision dates and host city.