Eurovision got to be held in Birmingham after Commonwealth Games success Golden decade
Eurovision: Cllr Ian Ward suggests Birmingham as host
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The Commonwealth Games is drawing to a close on Monday and preparing to hand the baton over to the next host, Victoria, Australia. However, leader of the council Ian Ward is already setting his sights on making Birmingham the host of a number of major world events, including 2023’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Councillor Ward claimed Birmingham is best poised to host Eurovision when the Song Contest comes to the United Kingdom next year.
Sam Ryder nabbed second place in May this year with his song Spaceman close behind Ukraine’s win with Stefania by Kalush Orchestra.
However, the UK has agreed to host the contest via the BBC due to Ukraine’s ongoing conflict with Russia.
Several cities have already thrown their hat in the ring after bidding opened in July.
The successful host will be announced later this year, and Ward is convinced Birmingham is in for a chance.
“We were estimating there’d be a million visitors into the city,” he said as the Commonwealth Games wound down on Monday.
“I think we’ve underestimated that. We could be a holiday destination for millions of people around the world.
“More canals than Venice, more trees than Paris. We now have the largest bull attraction in the entire country.”
Having become the fourth most-visited city in the UK by tourists overseas as of 2014, the West Midlands destination has transformed even further in recent years.
Birmingham could win out over frontrunners Manchester and Glasgow after proving it had what it takes to make the 2022 Games a resounding success.
“I think, having delivered the Commonwealth Games on a shortened timeframe, which city in this country could deliver the Eurovision Song Contest on a shortened timeframe?” Ian asked on BBC Breakfast.
“It’s got to be Birmingham, hasn’t it? And we’ll push on from that.”
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The councillor also revealed his hopes for the city to play host to a number of major events over the next few years.
He explained: “We’re bidding to host the European Athletics Championships. I’ve said this will be a golden decade for Birmingham.
“We’d like to end that golden decade by hosting the World Athletics Championships here in the city of Birmingham.”
UK Athletics has confirmed they’ve submitted a joint bid with Birmingham City Council to host the Euro Athletics in 2026.
The biennial World Athletics Championships will next be held in Budapest in 2023 and Tokyo in 2025, but could return to the UK after London hosted the competition in 2017.
Meanwhile, other potential Eurovision hosts London, Leeds and Sheffield have recently been joined by a new bid from Newcastle.
A shortlist will be announced at the end of this week, with the winner being announced in the autumn.
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays from 6am on BBC One.
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