Leeds Could Possibly Host Next Year’s Eurovision Song Contest At The First Direct Arena

Leeds Could Possibly Host Next Year’s Eurovision Song Contest At The First Direct Arena

Leeds City Council along with First Direct Arena have been in touch with the government and the BBC to discuss the possibility of holding Eurovision in the West Yorkshire city.

The news comes as organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest announced that the contest cannot be held in Ukraine next year as a result of the ongoing Russian invasion.

The BBC is currently in talks with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) about the possibility of hosting the 2023 event next year as runners-up.

With 2023 set to be the year of culture for the city, could this be the cherry on top of a fabulous year? Leeds City Council Leader James Lewis and Jonathan Pryor the council’s executive member for economy and culture said the competition “could not come at a better time”, The Yorkshire Evening Press reveals.

“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.”

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Feature Image Credit: First DIrect Arena/ BBC

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