Sheffield City Council has confirmed that it will bid to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, adding that it stands in solidarity with Ukraine, winner of the 2022 competition.
The 2023 event will be hosted in the UK thanks to the precarious situation in Ukraine, which would normally host next year’s event thanks to winning the 2022 competition. Sheffield is expected to face tough competition for the world’s third-most-watched live televised event, with Manchester and London already committed to bidding, and cities including Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds strongly tipped to make a case for hosting rights too.
Sheffield City Council said in a statement:
“Sheffield stands in solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, including those we have long been linked with in our twinned city Donetsk.
“Sheffield has a proven reputation for hosting major international events – recently including UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, as well as hosting the World Snooker Championship for over 45 years. Later this year, Sheffield will host the Rugby League World Cup, as well as the prestigious figure skating grand prix, the MK John Wilson Trophy.
“Sheffield’s main arena, the Utilita Sheffield Arena, is a 13,600 capacity venue, that delivers more than 100 events every year. We also have a thriving and diverse hospitality industry, with world-class hotels across our green city.
Councillor Martin Smith, chair of the economic development and skills committee at Sheffield City Council, added: “Sheffield is made for hosting Eurovision – music runs through our blood and we put on a good show. We’ve been hosting the World Snooker Championship for over 45 years, we’ve welcomed thousands of fans to UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, and just this weekend Sam Ryder wowed absolutely everyone at Tramlines Festival.
“We have the infrastructure, the venues, the hospitality, and the transport links. We also have one of the strongest creative and cultural sectors in the country.
“We have a long and important relationship with Ukraine, particularly with our twinned city of Donetsk. This began in 1956, and intensified during the 1980s – aided by the similarities of our cities, both having a steel and mining heritage.
“As the UK’s first designated City of Sanctuary, we’re reaching out to offer our city not only as a place of sanctuary, but as a place to celebrate the unity and togetherness that Eurovision symbolises.
“Sheffield stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine – we are putting ourselves forward to host Eurovision 2023 to do its people proud.”