Stockholm's plans to build a new arena for Eurovision 2024 have been met with political opposition.
Earlier this week, Dagens Nyheter reported that the city of Stockholm proposed a plan to build a temporary arena of up to 15,000 capacity in Frihamnen, a cruise port in Stockholm, that would play host to Eurovision 2024.
The Moderates’ opposition councilor Dennis Wedin, has blasted this proposal as very tone deaf: “It is unacceptable that Stockholm’s taxpayers should be stuck with building a new arena linked to this when we have so many other core municipal activities that need money right now in a tough financial situation. It sounds very tone-deaf.”
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The moderators and politicians of Stockholm have raised many questions about how much all of this would cost, and so far, Stockholm’s plans information and details on funding. For context, the last time Sweden hosted Eurovision, in Stockholm in 2016, the cost was circa SEK 100 million.
The moderaters and parts of the opposition in Stockholm have requested a basis for the costs, but that request has been voted down in the council by the majority.
“We have to start by getting clear on whether we in Stockholm are to be responsible for the entire amount ourselves. If it is the case that other actors can participate and share the cost and that there is a plan for it, we can look at it. But right now there are many question marks about how they intend to implement this. We require a formal decision before proceeding with a cost investment to get Eurovision.”
Karin Wanngård, who is councilor for finance, and who was also in the same role when Stockholm hosted Eurovision in 2016, has said that she would like to see the city attact co-sponsors, and that if the cost will be around SEK 100 million, it will be considered too expensive: “We have to find external financiers. Stockholmers can’t afford the party themselves. It is an important condition to be able to accept this.”
Karin Wanngård’s press staff have released the following statement on the matter: “Eurovision is a fantastic event that Stockholm wants and can be the host city for in 2024, provided that the arrangement is financially and climate-wise sustainable. We have submitted an expression of interest with a sustainable and innovative alternative. We cannot go into what that alternative looks like because it is now up to SVT to take a position and possibly wish to discuss further with us.”
What are your thoughts on Stockholm’s proposed bid to build an arena especially for Eurovision 2024? Would you like to see Stockholm hosting Eurovision 2024, or another Swedish city? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!