Cardiff Council leader considers obstacles to future Eurovision Song Contest bid
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
The Leader of Cardiff Council 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.
Last month the BBC revealed that it was in talks with the European Broadcasting Union about potentially hosting the next Eurovision Song Contest if this year’s winners, Ukraine, cannot.
Since then, questions have been asked about whether Cardiff should throw its hat in the ring as a potential host, with the Principality Stadium coming out and saying that it would be interested in hosting the event.
This year, 161 million people around the world tuned in to watch Eurovision on TV.
Leader of the opposition at Cardiff Council, Cllr Adrian Robson said at the meeting on Thursday June 30 that “there is a reputation out there that Cardiff has its problems” in relation to hosting major events.
Cllr Robson quoted the UK Game Shows website, saying that Cardiff “lacks hotels”, doesn’t have an adequately sized stadium and that its transport infrastructure is not good enough to host Eurovision.
He added: “If that is someone in the industry and would like to see Eurovision come to the UK, how are we going to overcome those concerns and what are we going to do about our transport system?”
Cllr Thomas said part of his response to those “fair challenges” raised in the quotation was to point to the indoor arena being brought forward by the administration, calling it a “missing piece of the jigsaw” in terms of venue capacity in the city.
He said: “We have the Principality Stadium and we have smaller venues as well, but I think part of the business rationale for the indoor arena is fitting that 15,000 to 20,000 capacity venue.
“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.
“And I think that is acknowledged from our experience in the Champions League that the capacity of the hotel market in Cardiff is something that we need to work on.
“In terms of transport, the experience of the Champions League was actually a really positive one and shows what, with careful planning, can be achieved.
“I think that we have also recognised, particularly in the last few months there have been experiences that are not as successful as we would have liked and I think there are lessons to be learnt from that and we will certainly be engaging with Welsh Government to address those issues going forward alongside of course the transport strategy published back in January 2020.
“That set out a significant programme of investment that we would like to see in public transport in Cardiff and we will continue to make the case to the UK Government’s Department for Transport and Welsh Government for that funding that we need to see for a successful event city, but also a successful every day city in Cardiff.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.