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Eurovision 2013: The Host City and Venue

The Venue

The Malmö Arena is an indoor arena built from 2007 to 2008. It is mostly used for Ice Hockey games, the tenants being the local Ice Hockey team Malmö Redhawks. During concerts the arena has a capacity of around 15500 spectators. The arena has hosted Britney Spears during her Femme Fatale tour and is most famous for hosting semi-finals of the Swedish national final Melodifestivalen in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Inside Malmö Arena. (c) wikipedia

The Host City

Malmö is the capital of the Swedish southernmost province Skåne. With almost 665,000 inhabitants, Mälmo is Sweden’s third biggest city (following Stockholm and Gothenburg) and one of Scandinavia’s biggest cities. It forms a metropolitan area with the Danish capital Copenhagen to which Malmö is connected via the Öresund Bridge. Öresundtrains provides public transport connections to Copenhagen and the Copenhagen Airport every 20 minutes. Apart from the Copenhagen Airport, visitors may also arrive at Malmö airport, now mostly used for cheap charter flights.

Malmö is called the “City of Parks” and was named 4th greenest city in the world by Grist Magazine’ in 2007. Of all Swedish cities it has the highest concentration of restaurants per capita. The oldest building of the city is the St Peter’s Church, which was built in the 14th century. Parts of the city were built in the Jugendstil style such as the Malmö Synagogue. The Västra Hamnen (The Western Harbour), was turned into a modern living area with the tallest building in Scandinavia, the Turning Torso, as its new landmark. There you can also find the beach Ribersborg, often called the Swedish Riviera.

The Turning Torso (c) wikipedia

The Swedish national broadcaster had applications from the Friends Arena in Stockholm and Malmö and decided to go for Malmö. “It was not really an easy decision,” Martin Österdahl, Executive Producer of the 2013 contest said. “We chose Malmö because there is a very good infrastructure and we have good experience of holding Melodifestivalen [the Swedish national selection] and the Eurovision Song Contest there,” he explains. “The choice of Malmö is based on an overall assessment of the environment in which we think is best for the format of the Eurovision Song Contest, both in terms of TV shows and on the preparations.”

It was quite a surprise that Stockholm was not chosen, but fits in with the EBU’s desire to downsize after the extravagance of Baku. “We are very pleased to have a Host City already at this stage. It shows the deep commitment SVT and the whole of Sweden have to host a great Eurovision Song Contest in 2013,” said  Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor on behalf of the EBU, after the decision was made public in July.

Recommended Read: BBC Hipster: Malmö in a Day

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