Last Friday the EBU announced that Ukraine would not host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest due to the ongoing war afflicting the country and that it had invited the BBC and the UK to step in. Ever since a large number of British cities have come forward expressing their interest in hosting the coveted event, the latest being Leeds.
Leeds (West Yorkshire) is vying to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest and joins the list of cities who have so far showcased their interesting in welcoming the Eurovision bandwagon next year.
The Leeds City Council has released the following statement regarding hosting Eurovision 2023:
It goes without saying that Leeds will be bidding to host Eurovision in 2023. Together with ASM Global, the operators of the first direct arena in Leeds, we have already been in touch with both the Government and the BBC to discuss our plans. Leeds has already proved that it has the capability and capacity to host major international events and ASM Global successfully hosted Eurovision in the Avicii Arena, Stockholm Sweden in 2016. Given that we will be mid-way through the Leeds 2023 year of culture, it could not come at a better time.
We are extremely disappointed that Ukraine will be unable to host in 2023, but it would be an honour to host on behalf of them, especially given that West Yorkshire is home to a large number of Ukrainians. If we are successful with our bid, we will be looking to get the local Ukrainian community involved with our plans as much as possible.
The potential venue
Leeds intends to host Eurovision 2023 if the UK accepts the EBU’s invite at the First Direct Arena which can house circa 13,000 spectators. The venue opened its doors in 2013 and hosted numerous concerts. Leeds is served by the Leeds Bradford international airport and has a large number of international flight connections.
If Leeds gets to host the competition next year it will be second time that the Eurovision Song Contest travels to Yorkshire, as the 1982 was held in Harrogate.
Photo credit: Leeds Live