The decision was made yesterday when the Swedish public broadcaster SVT and EBU announced that the 68th Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö and Malmö Arena! However, according to Torbjörn Ek and Aftonbladet, none of the other applicant cities fulfilled all the prerequisites on the checklist of SVT and EBU, other than just Malmö. Malmö was the only option as it seems and Tobbe tried to breakdown the reasons why the rest of the cities were not considered as potential host cities!
After Malmö 2013 and Stockholm 2016, many were hoping that Gothenburg would host Eurovision 2024. Earlier than the actual city announcement, we had reported that neither Gothenburg nor Örnsköldsvik were selected to host Eurovision 2024, a 50-year-old arena with several accessibility issues would not be able to host a production of 2024.
With Örnsköldsvik there were two main issues! Firstly, there are two flights a day to Örnsköldsvik. With 50 seats on each flight. And secondly, there are nowhere near as many hotel rooms as a Eurovision requires. Övik advocated train travel, but just going through Sweden takes over 10 hours (Fastest train journey Malmö – Övik takes 10:40h according to SJ). And then you must have reached the national border first as well. And the hotel rooms would be redeemed with cruise ships in port. One could say that this is smart, but also it is a little awkward, a little too much uncertainty for SVT to dare to gamble.
Stockholm would be a great option. A big city but easily accessible, many things within 1h walking distance, large arenas. But with Globen closed for renovation, trilling football clubs on Friends Arena and Tele2 and the city’s own proposal with a temporary arena (in practice a giant tent like at a music festival) in Frihamnen, one began to suspect inadvisability.
In a year when the world economy is shaking, it is not time for SVT to bet on alternatives with far too uncertain cards. The question marks surrounding an arena that doesn’t even exist, with all the known and unknown uncertainties it entails, simply became far too uncomfortable. Not to mention that Swedes and people living in Stockholm would not like to pay off such a temporary solution and see their tax bills getting bigger.
Hotel availability issues emerged
Malmö was the only safe card. But how are things in terms of lodging and availability? As Aftonbladet‘s Hanna Lindström and Torbjörn Ek report on the booking platforms, there is not a single free hotel room left in Malmö between May 11-12, that was barely half an hour after the announcement that the city would host Eurovision 2024. An easy solution would then be for someone to take the train to Copenhagen or ask a friend to put them up.
More rooms can be released
The large hotel chains Scandic, Clarion and Best Western in Malmö are fully booked during the competition, as it looks right now. But the hope for a night in a hotel room in Malmö is not lost yet. Johan Michelson , CEO of Best Western Hotels writes that the hotel will likely release more rooms closer to the event, when you have a better overview of demand.
At Scandic, however, the situation looks different. There, the hotel rooms are, just as it looks, sold out and they recommend going over to the neighboring country. Karin Sinclair, pricing manager for Scandic in Sweden comments on this:
“Our hotels in Malmö are currently fully booked during Eurovision and we always release the rooms we have immediately. I recommend keeping an eye on our website if availability changes and a tip is to keep an eye on our hotels in Copenhagen – it’s just a quick train ride across the bridge.”
9 out of 10 rooms go to Eurovision fans
Clarion hotels also have fully booked rooms on the day of the finals. Jens Lyckman , CEO of Clarion Malmö Live, elaborates to Sydsvenskan on the situation:
“In Malmö there are a total of just over 4,000 hotel rooms. 90 percent of that capacity is already assigned to the event”
Some might stay in Kastrup
Johan Hermansson , director of the leisure administration in Malmö, believes that Malmö is an easily accessible city and that it is possible to visit the city during the day of the Schlagerfest.
“When there are big events here in the Öresund region, it’s easy to get to them. Some come to Kastrup and stay in hotels, but many come with the Pågatågen and stay overnight for a fun event in Malmö. It is one of the strengths that we can attract visitors from our immediate area, which we really welcome and are also very happy for those who come from a little further away.”
Do you think that Malmö was a good choice to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest? Do you intend to go to Malmö next year to watch any of the three available shows? Let us know in the comments section below!
Stay tuned to Eurovisionfun.com for all the latest news regarding Eurovision Song Contest 2024, which will be held in Sweden!