The reason Birmingham missed out on Eurovision was revealed as the final shortlist is announced

The reason Birmingham missed out on Eurovision was revealed as the final shortlist is announced
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street says Birmingham was ruled out of hosting the competition due to a “technical issue” with the height of the Resorts World Arena’s roof.

The BBC announced that the final two cities competing to host the competition would be announced today, and Birmingham awaited the decision with bated breath.

Despite hosting the competition the last time it was in Britain in 1998 and this year’s Commonwealth Games, the Brummies were disappointed by today’s decision.

Liverpool and Glasgow will battle it out to stage the world famous singing competition, with a final decision on the host city to be announced in the next few weeks.

However, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has expressed his frustration that Birmingham did not make it to the final two cities in contention – due to an issue surrounding the venue’s “roof height”.

Mr Street said: “Birmingham has not taken part in the Eurovision round due to a technical issue surrounding the venue’s roof height.

“An incredibly frustrating reason to miss out – not least because of the solutions NEC put forward.

“We gave it our all and we will continue to put on the biggest events.”

Birmingham bid organizers had proposed the Resorts World Arena as the venue, which is at the NEC complex near Birmingham Airport.

The arena has a capacity of 15,685 seats and opened as the “Birmingham International Arena” in December 1980 with a concert by Queen.

The site has been described by Ian Ward, the leader of Birmingham City Council, as “second to none”.

After the final two cities were announced, Councilor Ward said he was “approved” the city missed out, adding that Birmingham would have staged “an unforgettable Eurovision for our friends in Ukraine”.

He later said: “Congratulations to Glasgow and Liverpool for making the final shortlist to host Eurovision 2023. Birmingham wishes both cities all the best in their bids to host.

“As the proud host city of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, we know the benefits of hosting such a prestigious global event.

“I would like to thank the NEC Group and everyone involved in the Birmingham bid and a special thanks to our local Ukrainian community and Centrala Space who were fully supportive throughout the process.”

Seven UK cities had been shortlisted to host Eurovision next year, including Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester – all of which were eliminated along with Birmingham today.

It leaves Glasgow and Liverpool battling it out after Eurovision organizers decided this year’s winner, Ukraine, could not host next year’s contest due to the Russian invasion.

Great Britain’s Sam Ryder came second in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, with Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra crowned as the winners. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

The seven cities were each judged on a set of criteria including “a suitable venue and sufficient space to meet the requirements of the singing competition”, necessary commitment to the competition, including a financial contribution, and “alignment with the BBC’s strategic priorities as a public service broadcaster ”.

Phil Harrold, chairman of the BBC’s host city selection committee, said: “Thank you to all 7 cities across the UK who have demonstrated the enthusiasm and passion for Eurovision that exists across the UK.

“We were incredibly impressed by the quality and creativity of all the city’s bids in a very competitive field.

“The Eurovision Song Contest is a very complex event and Liverpool and Glasgow have the strongest overall bid; we will continue our discussions with them to determine the eventual host city.

“We are determined to make the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 one that both reflects Ukraine’s winning position and is also an event that the whole of the UK can participate in.”

The official Eurovision Song Contest website has now introduced the two cities left in contention as excitement builds over the final decision.

Describing Glasgow, the website says: “Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, has an epic history and architectural heritage ranging from medieval to modern.

“In 2008, Glasgow was named the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music, thanks to its heritage and modern vibrant and varied music scene, hosting almost over 130 music events every week, more than any other Scottish city.

“And let’s not forget that the city’s OVO Hydro arena features in the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.

“The Eurovision connections don’t end there either! Glasgow girl Lulu won the 1969 contest with Boom Bang-a-Bang.”

Describing Liverpool, the website goes on to say: “Liverpool is a city that dances to its own beat – and 50 years after The Beatles exploded onto the world stage, it’s still making all the right sounds.

“Thoughts immediately jump to the ‘Fab Four’, but Liverpool’s diverse musical heritage goes back hundreds of years thanks to the city’s development as one of the world’s most important ports.

“Rightly a UNESCO City of Music, Merseyside’s contribution to the world of pop has been extensive with notable acts including: Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Orchestral Maneuvers in The Dark, The Mighty WAH!, Echo & The Bunnymen, Dead or Alive, The Lightning Seeds, Space, Mel C, Atomic Kitten, and of course Eurovision Song Contest 1993 runner-up… Sonia!”

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