Cardiff Council leader confirms talks over Eurovision 2023 bid
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
The leader of Cardiff Council has confirmed that the local authority is deliberating over the possibility of hosting Eurovision 2023.
Cllr Huw Thomas said the council is working with partners to understand the requirements, specifications and costs of hosting Eurovision in the Welsh capital.
The BBC yesterday confirmed that they had accepted the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)’s invitation to host the next Eurovision song contest.
Cardiff Council leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “Cardiff has a global reputation for being a city like no other when it comes to hosting major events.
“Everyone comments on the atmosphere Cardiff is able to generate and the unique warmth and personality people enjoy when they come here and find a city centre so self-contained and so close to the heart of the action.”
The winner of this year’s Eurovision song contest in Turin was Ukraine. However, due to the continuing war in the country after it was invaded by Russia, it has been decided that it will not host the contest.
The UK has hosted the competition – which this year had over 180 million video views – eight times, with London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Harrogate and Brighton being the only places in the country to have hosted it so far.
Cllr Thomas added: “It would be an honour for Cardiff to host Eurovision especially this year when we have welcomed so many Ukrainian refugees to the city.
“Of course Wales has close connections with Ukraine too, with a longstanding twinning arrangement between Cardiff and Luhansk, whilst Donetsk was founded by John Hughes, a Welshman from Merthyr who went there originally to develop a metal works in the region.
“A successful bid will require a Team Cardiff approach, and the council is working with partners now to understand the full requirements, specifications and the costs involved in putting on Eurovision.
“We know Cardiff could host a fantastic event and bringing Eurovision to Wales, the land of song, would fit with our Music Strategy and Cardiff’s place as the UK’s first music city.
“We are excited about getting round the table with our partners to see what can be done.”
At a council meeting last month, Cllr Thomas said the capacity of the hotel market in Cardiff will need to be worked on when he was asked about the city’s ability to host major events in the future.
When the city’s potential limitations were raised at the meeting, with a lack of hotels being one of the factors raised, Cllr Thomas pointed to the 15,000-capacity arena proposed for Butetown.
He said at the meeting: “We know also from conversations we have had with hoteliers in the city that they are looking at that development with keen interest in readiness that when we start delivering that arena, they will in turn respond with new hotel developments.”
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