Eilat is officially out of the race to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, as KAN reveals just Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are in contention.
KAN has confirmed this evening that Eilat is no longer in the running to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. The announcements means that next years competition will either be hosted in the coastal city of Tel Aviv or the historic city of Jerusalem. Speaking to KAN, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand explained that;
We discussed their proposal which I very much appreciated because it was thinking out of the box. Unfortunately we had to decline their offer because the venue they proposed did not meet our requirements, unfortunately.
The southern city of Eilat plans had centered around a waterfront Eurovision which had involved two proposed venues for the competition. The first would have required the construction a temporary venue in the Port of Eilat. The venue was to be constructed around two existing hangers, which would have a capacity of 10,000 people.
The second proposed venue was the Ice Mall, which would see the existing tenants removed from the structure for the course of the competition. The mall would then see 7,500 seats installed, again with a stage and additional areas constructed for the contest.
As part of the cities bid it planned to host the competing artists and delegations on cruise ships in the bay, with the artists transported to the venue by ship.
The final decision for the host city of the Eurovision Song Contest requires the approval of the Reference Group which is a governing body for the contest on behalf of participating countries in the contest.
Israel won the right to host the competition after their representative in 2018 Netta won the contest with her entry “Toy”. There were doubts in the months that followed whether Israel would financially be able to host. However they recently managed to secure funding and pay the initial deposit to the EBU before the deadline.
Israel has played host to the Eurovision Song Contest twice before. Previously they have held the contest in Jerusalem in 1979 and then 20 years later in 1999. Both times they held the contest in the International Convention Center.
Israel turned down the opportunity to host the contest in 1980 despite winning in 1979. This was due to the financial strain it would place on IBA, the broadcaster at the time hosting the contest two years consecutively. The contest was then moved to The Hague in The Netherlands and later Israel had to withdraw from the contest as it coincided with Israel’s Day of Remembrance. This marked the only occasion in the contest where the previous year’s winner was not present the following year.