Why Liverpool hosting Eurovision could be a five-year win for the city
1 year ago
Eurovision 2023 could be hosted by Liverpool after the shortlist was announced today of cities that could play host
Liverpool’s been named on the shortlist of cities to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest and that isn’t just exciting for fans, it could be very big news for the city’s economy too.
Because it’s not all about nul points and voting shocks, Eurovision equals a massive global advert for the host location and that means benefits that go on long after the competing artists have packed up and gone home.
Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, says the chance to showcase the city via such a huge event is definitely one worth fighting for.
“I think you have to separate whether you’re personally a fan of Eurovision or not because irrespective of whether you like the contest as a contest, it has now grown into a really substantial event.
“There’s absolutely no doubt that any event which is going to bring a worldwide population to view your city, and all those images that are then shown of that city, will be massively beneficial from an economic and a social perspective.
“In every city where Eurovision has been held, there’s clear evidence that the tourism growth in those cities has been anything from 5 to 15% for the next five years because of the national and international exposure you get from hosting an event like this so that’s definitely got to be worth having.”
Liverpool will be up against rivals Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield to see who gets to stage the event in May 2023.
The BBC said that 20 cities expressed an interest but only seven made it to the last round, with the likes of London, Brighton, Bristol and Belfast failing to make the cut.
Eurovision organisers have been looking for a replacement host since it was decided that Ukraine, this year’s winners, couldn’t hold the contest there. As the UK’s entry, Sam Ryder, finished second the hosting duties switched to here and the search started.
The contest attracts around 160million TV viewers around the world, so the stakes are high for whoever manages to convince organisers they have the right credentials to put on a spectacular show.
The seven remaining cities will be scored on a set of criteria, the BBC said, including:
- Having a suitable venue and sufficient space to deliver the requirements of the Song Contest
- The commitment that can be made by a city or region to hosting the event, including the financial contribution
- The strength of the cultural offer which includes off screen local and regional activity as well as showcasing Ukrainian culture and music
- And alignment with the BBC’s strategic priorities as a public service broadcaster, such as providing value to all audiences and supporting the creative economy in the UK
The successful city, chosen by the BBC and Eurovision organisers, will be announced in the autumn.
Liverpool M&S Bank Arena has the joint smallest capacity of the venues on the shortlist, with Newcastle Arena, at 11,000. Manchester’s AO Arena heads that list, holding 21,000.
But Chris still believes we have everything it takes to come out on top of the competition, and present an event that not only shows Liverpool in an amazing light, but also respects that the night really belongs to Ukraine.
“We meet the criteria which is obviously why we’ve got through this far, so now the challenge will be more about creating availability and meeting the timescales that Eurovision and BBC need in terms of the ACC and hotel rooms.
“All the shortlisted cities will face the same issues, it’ll take a bit of innovation, creativity and a bit of will, but they’re all things that as a city we’ve got.
“Now we’re in this stage, we can get into a more detailed understanding of what the requirements really are: the costs and everything else you’d expect for an event of this size that’s going to be held in 8 to 9 months’ time.
“Obviously it’s a competitive process so we want to make sure we keep a few things up our sleeve – we need to find secret weapons, things that will differentiate us from the other six and give us an advantage.
“There’s strong competition but I’m sure we can see them out!”