Focus 2017: Odessa

Hello everyone and welcome back to our series where we focus on the cities in the running to host Eurovision 2017! It has been very interesting to hear your comments and opinions on our series and hopefully, we’re aiming to please you all with this series of analysis!

If you’re only just joining us; here at ESC Views, we like to take a look at the potential cities vying to host the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in their country. In 2017, thanks to Jamala’s win in Stockholm, we are due to be heading to Ukraine to celebrate nect year’s beauty in music… but where? As of the time of writing this, there have been at least nine different cities in Ukraine that have expressed an interest in putting on 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. .

Normally, we would analyse every city in contention for hosting the shows, but this year, we are limiting our scope to the four cities that have a realistic chance of hosting Eurovision 2017. Last time, we focused on the easternmost city bidding in the competition – Dnipro, and now we are head south to the banks of the Black Sea – to Odessa.

Odessa has the third largest stadium at present in the bidding process.

Odessa is third largest city in Ukraine, with a population of just over 1 million people. The city is situated in its eponymous Oblast (region) and sits on the edge of the Black Sea, one of the most defining features of Eastern Europe. As a result, Odessa has become of the biggest cities on the Black Sea and is a major trade hub for the country, with the city boasting a rich history in science, industry and culture. The city itself is 475 kilometres from the capital Kyiv and a mere 69 kilometres from the Moldovan border and thus, relations between Moldova and Odessa are very well-maintained. (Should Moldova confirm participation in the 2017 Contest, the journey will not last too long!) The city contains some unique architecture and statues showing the history of the city and has recently even become a tourist hotspot for summer sun and city breaks, which would be boosted if Europe’s favourite TV show came to town.

As with Dnipro, Odessa was one of the first cities in Ukraine to throw its hat in the ring, expressing its interest to host the show the day after Jamala won the Contest. The city currently has the southernmost bid to stage the Contest. Due to the south-west location of Odessa, safety in the city is generally guaranteed, as the city is nowhere near an area under dispute within Ukraine. Odessa is planning to stage Eurovision 2017 in the Chornomorets Stadium, with a capacity of 34,164 for football matches, although this will likely increase with the construction of the stage and a mosh pit being installed on the arena floor.Odessa, as already mentioned, is home to a rich history of culture and science and is able to mix modernity and tradition in a very subtle, yet beautiful way. The city, along with the other cities we will be focusing on, also has an international airport that serves flights to cities across Europe and the Middle East, as well as other Ukrainian cities on a daily basis, making international access to the city fairly easy for delegations.

So what would Odessa’s chances be to get Eurovision 2017? Aforementioned in the Dnipro article, all named stadiums in the running for the Contest – including the Chornomorets Stadium – lack a roof, which is a mandatory requirement set by the host broadcaster NTU and the EBU. However, due to the renewed vitality of the tourist industry, it’s possible that the cost of construction of the roof may be a cost that Odessa is willing to pay to get the Contest. There are no major works that need to be done in the city, although some infrastructure work is planned, to optimise the efficiency of public transport in the city. Coupling this with the  array of hotels that can help accommodate the thousands of fans planning to travel to see the shows, Odessa’s bid for Eurovision is definitely a feasible one.  Although Lviv and Kyiv are the front runners to host the Contest next year, I wouldn’t underestimate Odessa – it  would be one to look out for in the race to stage the largest non-sporting competition in the world.

This is what we think, but what do you think? Where would you like Eurovision to be held next year? Would Odessa be the one city that you could imagine us to be going to next year? Be sure to let us know what you think by both commenting below, letting us know your opinions, and also voting in our poll – the results will be shown when the city is selected by NTU/EBU, or by September 1st at 10:00 GMT, so be sure to make your voice heard and let us know where you think the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Ukraine should be held.

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!!!

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