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Odessa in Song: Artists Perform Bohemian Rhapsody

In support of their bid to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, the Ukrainian city of Odessa release ‘Odessa Waiting for Eurovision’, an all-star performance of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody devised by well known presenter, Андрей Войников (Andrew Voinikov). The lyrics, altered in Ukrainian, speak of the artists’ declaration of love to their home city as they explain just why Odessa deserves to host the contest.

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Infrastructure: Although Odessa Airport has received criticism regarding its relatively small size, its level of passenger traffic is higher than that of Dnipro Airport and expansion by way of a new terminal is due to commence in September. As has been remarked, it is also possible to reach the city by sea – via the commercial port that reportedly can receive five vessels at once. Odessa offers the largest number of hotels of the three bidding cities – at 289.

Venue: There is a problem regarding the designated venue in Odessa, the Chornomorets Stadium, not having a roof – a crucial property of anywhere that holds the Eurovision shows. Government officials in Odessa claim that this can be rectified by installing a temporary roof, yet this would be a detrimental cost of anywhere between 2 million and 20 million Euros – depending on the robustness and endurance of the roof. An original suggestion on the cheaper end of this scale was to effect a tent-like cover, however this is likely to be an unfeasibly impractical solution due to technical equipment for the contest that would need to be affixed to the ceiling. Temporary roof solutions company Nüssli of Switzerland has proposed a more durable work on the Chornomorets Stadium. This would not be the first time that Nüssli has been involved in the construction of a Eurovision venue – having done so in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

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Infrastructure: The capital is the only Ukrainian city that has hosted Eurovision before, over a decade ago in 2005. As such, it is expected that its public transport system and the Boryspil International Airport are capable of serving the number of visitors expected in the months of the Eurovision Song Contest. The amount of accommodation space in Kyiv is estimated at 265 hotels.

Venue: Although the Palace of Sports has held the contest before, following inspection, nowadays the complex would need significant renovation if it is to hold the contest. Furthermore, the window specified by the EBU during which a Eurovision venue must be free for use (the six weeks leading up to the date of the final) would clash with the complex’s intention to hold the Hockey World Championship Division I, in late April of 2017. This in particular means that no matter which week in May Eurovision Week will be, it is highly unlikely that the Palace of Sports would be an accepted venue for the contest. Ukraine’s Minister of Sports remains adamant that the Hockey World Championship will take place in the country, yet the possibility of it doing so anywhere other than the Palace of Sports remains undisclosed. An alternative venue for Eurovision in Kyiv has been named as the International Exhibition Centre (IEC), whose capacity – at 13000 – in fact exceeds that of the Palace of Sports. However, it is unlikely that so many spectators would, in practice, be admitted to the shows in the event of the IEC being chosen as the venue.

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Infrastructure: It has been regarded that the size of Dnipro’s airport is a central issue regarding the city’s ability to host Eurovision. There are concerns that the vast increase in passenger traffic at the airport around the time of the contest would demand work to be done on the state of its only runway, which would cost approximately one hundred thousand Euros. Moreover, Dnipro is logistically a difficult place to which to fly anyway, as few airlines from few destinations have established the connection. Nevertheless, improving the efficiency both of travelling to Dnipro, and travelling on public transport within Dnipro, has been encouraged. The city also offers the fewest accommodation spaces of the three bids, with 186 hotels. In attempt to boost this figure, according to Yuri Golyk – the advisor to the head of the Regional State Administration of Dnipro – there have been suggestions of converting the city’s river cruises into hotels for the Eurovision Weeks. A further point that has been boasted regarding Dnipro’s potential of host city is that it is statistically safer from terrorism than either Kyiv or Odessa – a significant point of interest for the relevant decision-makers, following the instability of Ukraine’s political situation that ensued three years ago.

Venue: The Sports Complex Meteor is a complex where work is currently underway to reconstruct the Meteor Stadium, estimated to be ready in March. The capacity of the venue will be 9500 people, which perfectly meets the EBU’s quota of between 7000 and 10000 people.

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