As we reported to you earlier, the Finnish public broadcaster YLE has received bids from seven cities to host the upcoming contest. From the Finnish capital Helsinki, YLE received bids from two venues. We give you a closer look into the seven potential host cities for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest and their bids, finishing with Lapland's capital Rovaniemi and the ski resort Levi.
Hohoho, where do we go?
Rovaniemi is the administrative capital and the centre of commerce of Finland's northernmost Province, Lapland. It is situated close to the Arctic Circle and has an area of 8,016 km² and an approximate population of 60,000. It is the largest city by area in the Northern Hemisphere and one of the largest in the world. The birth city of Mr. Lordi is also known as the permanent residence of another famous guy in a mysterious costume; Santa! Hohoho, where do we go?
Although the heart of Lapland has quite some accomodation facilities to offer, there is only one venue more or less capable of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest; The modern but small Lappi Areena (photo) can host approximately 3,500 people. From the event hosting perspective, the city is more suitable for (cross country) ski events. Rovaniemi has a small airport, where mostly domestic flights come and go. Every year, about 300,000 people travel through Rovaniemi's airport. From a cultural point of view, Rovaniemi could be a nice host city, but practical and efficient..?
Unforgettable (and unlikely) Levi
Roughly 200 kilometers above Rovaniemi, the ski resort Levi is situated. The small town with 19,000 available beds has a lot of apartment hotels, which is a big plus regarding accomodation. Nevertheless, Levi has no 5-star hotels. Levi is a rather isolated location, with only a small airport situated in Kittilä (15 kilometers from Levi) and a modest train connection. The tourism portal of Levi also highlights another weak point of this location; "In summer there may be construction work in progress in the village centre."
Where Levi is planning to host the Eurovision Song Contest seems unknown. Apart from the Grazy Reindeer apres ski bar, maybe..?
Obviously, Helsinki meets all requirements to host an event like the Eurovision Song Contest. On top of that, it has the benefit of being the capital city of Finland, which has promotional benefits. Still, Helsinki has more than one suitable venue to host the 2007 competition. Turku has the venue, but a limited amount of hotel beds and cannot be reached directly from most European cities, which is a disadvantage for foreign visitors. Espoo and Tampere seem to have disadvantages in terms of accomodation facilities, unless they manage to come up with a creative solution. The location of Rovaniemi raises infrastructural questions when it comes to hosting an event like the Eurovision Song Contest and unless Levi has a hidden venue inside a hollow mountain – why not using it for world domination purposes instead of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest? – the small northern town doesn't stand a chance. But who knows, a wannabe host city that doesn't stand a chance on first sight might have a creative solution for its weak points..!