Eilat is being considered as a potential host city for the Eurovision Song Contest, according to an unnamed individual at the European Broadcasting Union.
Israeli media outlet Walla is citing an unnamed official at the European Broadcasting Union, who has stated that Eilat is among the cities being considered to host next years Eurovision Song Contest. The city on the coast of the Red Sea had up until this point been outside of the race to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 and now joins the following cities in showing an interest:
Eilat is home to just over 50,000 people and is a popular coastal resort town and port. The city is currently served by both domestic and international carriers including Ryanair and Wizz Air. The city appears to lack a viable venue for the competition with both indoor venues in the city having a capacity of less than 3,000 people.
Earlier this week the Minister for Culture and Sport, Miri Regev stated that either Jerusalem is selected as next years host city for the Eurovision Song Contest, or Israel should not host the competition at all.
With all due respect to the (European Broadcasting) Union, Israel has the right to decide where to host Eurovision…it is a beautiful show and there are no issues with the substance, but the point is also that the state shows itself on the occasion.
The final decision will be taken by the prime minister, but if they ask me, I’ll say the right thing to do is either host it in Jerusalem or spend the 50 million shekels necessary in some other way,
This isn’t the first time that the Culture and Sports Minister has voiced her opinions on how next years competition should be held. Both Communications Minister Ayoub Kara and Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev declared that Jerusalem would host the contest in 2019, the EBU has called their statements premature, telling fans to hold off on booking flights until a final announcement is made.
However, Israel’s plan to host Eurovision has courted some controversy, from IPBC’s status as an EBU broadcaster and concerns over boycotts. Problems have also arisen even within Israel, such as religious authorities’ concerns over the Shabbat.