Eurovision 2016 – In a surprise announcement, Swedish newspapers have this morning revealed that two of the favourite venues to host next year’s contest have withdrawn. Tele 2, the hot favourite if Stockholm was to host, and Friends Arena, home of Melodifestivalen, have both said they are unable to meet the requirements to be free for the 6 week period required. Pre-arranged football games make it impossible to use Tele 2 and appear un-moveable. Friends Arena has said it does not wish to host the event, has has the city of Malmö according to the report.
If true it leaves only Globen, the old home of Melodifestivalen, as a potential venue in Stockholm. It hosted the contest in 2000 and can hold 16,000.
Still in the running appears to be Gothenburg’s Scandinavium Arena, and Linköping’s Saab Arena. A meeting was held in Gothenburg yesterday who seem to be serious about hosting the event. Scandinavium hosted the 1985 contest and can hold 14,000.
As we reported here on The Eurovision Times immediately after this year’s final, the annual horse show that stopped their last bid has been moved from May to March next year, freeing up the venue and hotels.
Linköping is also showing an interest. The Saab Arena is an ice hockey arena and has hosted a Melodifestivalen semi-final three times: in 2005, 2008 and 2011. It can hold 11,500. The Eurovision Times is not sure that Linköping has enough hotel rooms to cater for Eurovision however.
UPDATE: It now appears Tele 2 could be back in the race as the Hammerby football club’s president, Henrik Kindlund has said it will consider options to play elsewhere if anyone offers them an alternative ground and compensation to do so.
Malmö has apparently NOT made decision after all, but doesn’t seem to be falling over itself to host again.
Also apparently in the running is Sandviken with the 10,000 capacity Göransson Arena. The tiny town has about one and a half hotels. We don’t hold ot much hope for it. Sorry Sandviken.