Focus 2017: Dnipro

Hello everyone, we’re finally back after quite possibly the longest break ever, but due to final exams and so forth, we’ve all not had the amount of time to look after the blog as we used to – I do hope you’ll forgive us, and remember – if you want to join the club here at ESC Views, just take a look at the “JOIN THE ESC VIEWS TEAM!” tab above and follow the steps; we can’t wait to hear from you!

Anyway, Eurovision 2016 has passed and Jamala has won the 61st edition of the Contest with her song “1944” (not exactly to the joy of many Eurovision fans), which means that in 2017, we’re all heading to Ukraine – but to where? Officially from June 14th (Tuesday), there has been a bidding war going on between several Ukrainian cities to host Europe’s favourite TV show – and who could blame them? Eurovision brings in more than double the (sometimes exacerbated) price tag of around €15 million (see here for numerical amounts in GBP, USD and UAH for the monetary amount of other currencies) in revenue for the city that has the pleasure of hosting such a grand event.

Here at ESC Views, we normally would run through all the candidate cities that are vying to host the show, but this year, we’re going to focus only one the cities that have a viable, realistic chance of hosting next year’s show. From the nine cities (at the time of writing) showing an interest in hosting Eurovision, we’re going to focus on four: Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa and the first city in this series that we’re going to cover; Dnipro.

Dnipro is the easternmost city to bid for Eurovision.

Dnipro – also known as Dnipropetrovsk, but officially known as ‘Dnipro’ as of May 19th 2016, in an effort by the Ukrainian government to decommunise the country – is the fourth largest city in Ukraine and has a population of just over 1 million people. Situated in the eponymous Oblast, the city itself rests at the edge of the Dnieper River and the mouth of the Kremenchuk Resevoir. The city is roughly over 400 kilometres from the capital Kyiv and is famous in Ukraine for its metal-building and its function as a trade hub.

Dnipro was one of the first cities in Ukraine to show their interesting in putting on Eurovision, expressing their desire to host the show the day after Jamala had won in Stockholm. The city is currently the easternmost bid to host Eurovision, but due to the distance between Dnipro and the current war taking place in Donbass, safety is very predictable. Dnipro is proposing to host Eurovision in the Dnipro-Arena, with a capacity of 31,003 for football matches; this will increase substantially for concerts such as Eurovision up to around 40,000; making it one of the largest arenas ever to host Eurovision. As well as the Dnipro-Arena, Dnipro boasts several archaic monuments commemorating their history, as well as modern buildings which signify the city’s advancement in technology and innovation for Ukrainian business. The city also has an international airport with flights to other Ukrainian and European destinations daily.

So, what would be Dnipro’s chances of actually getting the go ahead by NTU and the EBU to host Eurovision? As with nearly every named potential arena to host the Contest thus far, a roof would need to be built on top of the arena as this is a mandatory requirement set by the host broadcaster every year. Coupling this with extensive work that needs to be done to the airport to improve efficiency, it seems unlikely that Dnipro would have the necessary infrastructure prepared for the thousands of fans due to descend on the city, despite its valiant effort. However, Dnipro’s Mayor Borys Filatov has stated that Dnipro will fight for the right to host Eurovision 2017, stating in a press conference to Ukrainian media that:

We have a governor with an understanding that this is a good and sensible idea. Such measures would be a useful thing for the development of urban infrastructure, for businesses and for the new rebranding – this is the objective.

This is a defiant statement from Dnipro’s Mayor, but whether or not it pays off remains to be seen. It is speculated that NTU and the EBU will choose a host city by the end of the summer and, judging from previous years in the bidding race, it’s like that this will once again be proven true. It is a strong bid by the city of Dnipro, but will they get the chance to host Eurovision, we’ll have to see how it plays out….

In the meantime, you can vote in our poll to say where YOU think Eurovision 2017 should be held. The poll will be carried out throughout this series and will close on September 1st at 10:00 GMT, or when the city is chosen. We’ll then compare the results with that of the actual results and see if you predicted the choice right! And of course, if you have any comments feel free to post them below.

UPDATE: On the 22nd of July, we were left with Odessa, Kyiv and Dnipro in the running to host Eurovision. As a result, we have opened another poll to see what you think of the final three cities. The poll still closes on August 1st at 10:00 GMT, so be sure to make your voice heard in the last phase!!!

UPDATE: On July 16th 2016, Dnipro formally revealed their plans for hosting the Contest. If they do get to host the Eurovision, the Contest will not be held in the Dnipro-Arena, but instead, the Meteor Sport Arena, which will be renamed the “DniproEuroArena”. The press centre will be in the Dnipro Arena instead. The city has also stated it has 3,700 hotel rooms to accommodate fans and journalists, with more hotels to be built in time for the Contest.

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