On the 12th of August, the BBC revealed the seven UK cities which have been shortlisted to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest – and bookmakers and sports gambling sites, such as EnergyCasino, have responded with their odds for each hopeful contender. In this article, we’ll take a look at the seven possible Eurovision locations and their odds for success.
Music to unite Europe
On the 14th of May 2022, Ukraine became the 66th winner of the annual Eurovision Song Contest which was held in Turin. The Kalush Orchestra won the contest with their song ‘Stefania’, just pipping the UK’s Sam Ryder to the top spot. Traditionally, the winning country will play host to the contest the following year, however, due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the 2023 event will be hosted in the United Kingdom.
The shortlisted cities will now develop their bids, with the winner to be announced in the Autumn. Although the contest will be held in the UK, it will include Ukrainian hosts and culture – as 2022 runner up, Sam Ryder, put it, “It’s Ukraine’s party, we’re just inviting them to throw it at our house”.
Against all odds
Following the announcement of the shortlisted cities, bookies have opened up shop for wagers as well as publishing their odds and, in traditional Eurovision style, here they are in reverse order:
Home to the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield in South Yorkshire has been given odds of 33/1 for hosting the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Notable musicians from Sheffield include pop bands Pulp, Def Leppard and The Human League.
Known as the UK’s second city, Manchester has a rich musical history, including the Madchester scene which spawned huge bands such as Oasis. Despite this, Manchester’s chances of hosting Eurovision stand adjust 12/1 according to the bookies.
Home to over 39,000 students, Leeds has a lively music scene and is home to a number of artists including Kaiser Chiefs, The Sisters of Mercy and Soft Cell. As things stand, the odds of Leeds hosting next year’s contest is neck and neck with Manchester at 12/1.
The jewel of the north east, Newcastle is a dynamic and metropolitan city combining cool culture with lively nightlife and great transport links. A number of successful musicians call Newcastle home including The Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant, Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and The Lighthouse Family. The chances of Newcastle hosting the 67th Eurovision Song Contest are currently 9/1.
LIverpool needs no introduction when it comes to music as it has spawned some of the world’s most legendary bands and artists including, of course, the Fab Four themselves, The Beatles. Bookmakers have set the odds for Liverpool hosting the 2023 competition at 5/1.
Birmingham is a cosmopolitan city known for many things but, most recently, for playing host to the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Birmingham is home to some music royalty including UB40, Duran Duran and Electric Light Orchestra – which is, perhaps, why, betting sites are giving Birmingham odds of 2/1.
A port city on the River Clyde, Glasgow, in Scotland’s lowlands, is known for its stunning architecture and its outstanding culture. Musicians hailing from Glasgow include Lewis Capaldi, the late Darius Campbell and, former Eurovision winner, Lulu. The bookies favorite, Glasgow currently has odds of 5/4 and is currently thought to be the most likely host for Eurovision 2023.
Ticking the boxes
While the host of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 won’t be announced until Autumn, we do know that the winning city will need to fulfill a number of criteria, including:
The winning city will need to be able to prove that it has a venue of a suitable size to host the competition – all seven cities have already ticked this box as all feature major music and arts venues which will be able to provide adequate capacity for the contest. This capacity will include sufficient dressing space for the artists (26 countries will be competing in the 2023 competition) and hosts as well as space for 10,000 spectators.
It’s estimated that hosting the Eurovision Song Contest costs around £29 million – and a significant chunk of these costs are covered by the host city. For this reason, authorities from each of the seven cities will need to be able to show evidence that the city can afford to host the event to the standard required.
The Eurovision Song Contest is a major annual event and, as such, the winning city will be one which can prove that it will properly commit to hosting – this will include ensuring that there will be no other major events held in the city in 2023 which may take funds and resources away from Eurovision.
Culture and Ukraine
Due to the unique circumstances of the 2023 event, organizers will be looking for a city which not only demonstrates a strong sense of culture but also showcases the culture and music of Ukraine who will be co-hosting the competition.
In order to be successful, the city will need to show an alignment with the BBC’s ‘strategic priorities’ which include supporting the creative economy and providing significant value to all audiences.
Britannia rules the soundwaves
The UK is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest, having hosted the contest eight times – the last time in Birmingham in 1998. The UK has also won the competition for five times as follows:
1967 Sandie Shaw – Puppet on A String
1969 Lulu – Boom Bang-a-Bang
1976 Brotherhood Of Man – Save Your Kisses For Me
1981 Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up
1997 Katrina And The Waves – Love Shine A Light
Whether 2023 will be lucky number six for the UK remains to be seen as we eagerly await news of the UK’s entry.
Eurovision won’t be ‘nil points’ for the betting industry
The Eurovision Song Contest is always big business for bookmakers and betting sites but 2022 / 2023 will be a bumper period with people not only placing bets on the winning song but also on the host city. The Eurovision Song Contest is watched by a whopping 189 million people worldwide and, a great many of these enjoy having a little flutter while they’re at it.
Over the years, the competition has achieved cult status due to its outrageous costumes, comically bad entrants and obvious political leanings during voting. For this reason, the competition has its superfanas who never miss a moment and even hold Eurovision parties with fancy dress themes, snacks and, of course, bets on the winners and losers.
While Glasgow is the current favorite to host next year’s event, the competition is far from over as all seven cities still need to prove that they can fulfill each and every one of the criteria and, it’s expected that the shortlist will be whittled down further in the next few weeks – so you may want to hold off before hot footing it to the betting shop.