By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter
Nottingham City Council has decided not to bid to be the host city for Eurovision 2023.
The UK is the next city to host the major international music event on behalf of Ukraine, with cities across the country putting in their bids.
Cllr David Mellen (Lab), Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s really exciting that Eurovision is coming to the UK and for the country to host such a long-running, well-loved and prestigious international competition on behalf of Ukraine.
“With a world-class Arena that hosts entertainment superstars and international sporting events, Nottingham’s infrastructure of hotels, restaurants and bars is geared towards welcoming fans from all over the world.
“Together with local partners, we have carefully considered the criteria which potential host cities are required to meet ahead of submitting a formal application.
“Unfortunately, despite having a great venue, a vibrant and diverse community and excellent green transport links, Nottingham doesn’t meet the wider capacity requirements for an event of this scale and so, sadly, we have collectively decided not to put forward a bid on this occasion.
“With a worldwide television audience of more than 180 million people, Eurovision is a terrific opportunity for another city in the country and we’d be happy to help with their preparations if we can.”
The Motorpoint Arena – with a capacity of 10,000 people – was looking at the possibility of hosting the event.
Martin Ingham, chief executive of the Motorpoint Arena, said: “Hosting Eurovision would have been another fantastic feather in the city’s cap, but unfortunately we cannot meet the event criteria as the Arena already has a number of major contracted events, including the IIHF Men’s World [ice hockey] Championships 1A.
“This is an extensive period where the venue would need to be made available to the BBC and European Broadcasting Union.”
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in July, Marcellus Baz, board member of the Nottingham Project, said it would be “phenomenal” for Nottingham.
He said Nottingham had a “good chance” of being picked if a bid was submitted, citing the “Robin Hood effect”.
He added: “It will be great for the city, for the economic system, for local businesses and for the local community to put a smile on people’s faces.
“We’ve got the same chance as every other city and we have got to throw our hat in there.”