Commonwealth Games: Birmingham to bid to host Eurovision 2023 amid ‘Golden Decade’ of events

Sam Ryder's second place finish at Eurovision could see the Song Contest being hosted at Resorts World Arena in 2023. Credit: BBC/EBU/PA Images

It’s been confirmed Birmingham will bid to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 and the European Athletics Championships 2026 as part of a new ‘Golden Decade’ of events for the city.

The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, and the leader of Birmingham City Council, Ian Ward, said the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the city would be a “launchpad” for the region in the coming years.

The pair confirmed today the bid for the Eurovision Song Contest would be at Resorts World Arena near Birmingham Airport. 

Birmingham was the last place to host the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK, back in 1998, when Dana International won the competition for Israel with ‘Diva.’

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “For many decades Birmingham has developed a deserved reputation as a city that hosts world-class events and we know that our city is hugely popular with athletes, performers and spectators.”

“We’ve hosted G8 summits, World Cup Rugby, two editions of the World Indoor Athletics Championships, a Papal visit, the Eurovision Song Contest, international football fixtures, and now the Commonwealth Games - a huge multi-sport event, delivered in half the usual time.”

Potential benefits from hosting the Eurovision Song Contest, according to when Lisbon hosted in 2018:

Our reporter Raheem Rashid caught up with the Mayor of the West Midlands

The region’s Mayor, Andy Street said: “Resorts World Arena has a strong track record in hosting major televised events and awards…The venue was proud to host the ‘Concert for Ukraine’ live on ITV, bringing together some of the world’s biggest artists to help raise a staggering £13.4 million for the Disasters Emergency Committee.”

The Midlands stepped in to host the Commonwealth Games after Durban in South Africa pulled out in 2017, a decision on whether or not Birmingham gets to host Eurovision next year amid the Ukrainian war will be made in the coming months.

Though, even if the bid is unsuccessful, leaders have confirmed there are other proposals “in the pipeline” to host major events in the city, with announcements due to be made in the near future.