Eurovision: ‘Crack open the bucks fizz’: Sheffield celebrates making shortlist to host song contest
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The Steel City was today announced as one of seven cities out of 20 who expressed interest to make it to the next stage of bidding.
Councillor Ben Miskell, who led the campaign to bring the international competition to Sheffield, said: “Euphoria is ringing out across South Yorkshire…
“We’re proud to be flying the flag in solidarity with Ukraine and hope that the European Broadcasting Union will shine a light on Sheffield and make our region their number one.”
Sheffield Council is working collaboratively with partners across the region on the bid and said, if successful, the whole of South Yorkshire would benefit.
Oliver Coppard, South Yorkshire mayor, said: “Crack open the bucks fizz, Eurovision are making their minds up – and the only correct choice is Sheffield and South Yorkshire.
“I’ve previously said that Sheffield seemed the obvious choice to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, you’d have to be a spaceman not to. But I will say it again – we have the venues, the heritage, the track record and the passion that Eurovision deserves in such an important year for the contest, that would be held in solidarity with our friends and partners in Ukraine.”
The council boasted Sheffield’s proven reputation for hosting major international events such as the UEFA Women’s Euros and the World Snooker Championships.
Coun Martin Smith, chair of the economic development and skills committee, said he expects the bidding process to be completed in autumn.
In the meantime, Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, member of the committee, said leaders were working tirelessly make it a success.
He said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news. Clearly the hard work starts now. We as a city have a proud history of being the UK’s first City of Sanctuary and we have strong connections with Donetsk and Ukraine.
“I’m looking forward to working alongside our Ukrainian communities to make sure this is us hosting on their behalf.
“It’s not just Sheffield that is hosting it, it’s the South Yorkshire region. We are going to ensure we put the best bid in as possible, working alongside other colleagues. We want to make this happen for our region, what a fantastic way to put us on the map.
“There are some big cities around us, we have got some competition, but we are up for the challenge and I’m sure my colleagues at the council and other councils in the region will be working tirelessly now to ensure this comes to Sheffield and we can showcase to the world what we have to offer here.”
Doncaster Council said it “can’t wait” to support its neighbouring local authority and represent the region.
Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones added: “We are delighted to support Sheffield in its bid and if successful, it will be a huge honour to work alongside our partners and our Ukrainian communities to ensure international guests receive the warmest of South Yorkshire welcomes.”
Full list of cities shortlisted to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023
Sheffield was also third out of 16 in a poll by Eurovisionworld.com that asked the public where they would like to see the competition.
Coun Mohammed said Sheffield would be open to collaboration with Leeds depending on how the bid goes.
“If Leeds are not successful I would be wanting to reach out to them and say ‘come on, let’s do it for Yorkshire’,” he said.