Sheffield will bid to host Eurovision 2023

Following the BBC’s announcement that Eurovision 2023 will be held in the UK, Sheffield will be entering a bid to become the host city.

The city’s council notes Sheffield has a “proven reputation for hosting major international events” – recently including UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, as well as hosting the World Snooker Championship for over 45 years.

Later this year, Sheffield will host the Rugby League World Cup, as well as the prestigious figure skating grand prix, the MK John Wilson Trophy.

The council points out that Sheffield’s main arena, the Utilita Sheffield Arena, is a 13,600 capacity venue, which delivers more than 100 events every year.

And it adds that Sheffield has a thriving hospitality industry with world-class hotels.

Councillor Martin Smith, chair of the economic development and skills committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield is made for hosting Eurovision – music runs through our blood and we put on a good show.

“We’ve been hosting the World Snooker Championship for over 45 years, we’ve welcomed thousands of fans to UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, and just this weekend Sam Ryder wowed absolutely everyone at Tramlines Festival.

“We have the infrastructure, the venues, the hospitality, and the transport links. We also have one of the strongest creative and cultural sectors in the country.”

The news that Eurovision 2023 will take place in the UK came after organisers confirmed the contest could not be held in Ukraine – which won this year’s event – due to the ongoing war in the country.

Smith said: “We have a long and important relationship with Ukraine, particularly with our twinned city of Donetsk. This began in 1956, and intensified during the 1980s – aided by the similarities of our cities, both having a steel and mining heritage.

“As the UK’s first designated City of Sanctuary, we’re reaching out to offer our city not only as a place of sanctuary, but as a place to celebrate the unity and togetherness that Eurovision symbolises.

“Sheffield stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine – we are putting ourselves forward to host Eurovision 2023 to do its people proud.”