PORTUGAL – In less than 24 hours we will hear the official announcement of Lisbon as the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest host city and dates as EBU and RTP prepare for a press conference in Lisbon at 18:30 CET.
Officially there are cities in the run for hosting the 2018 event: Lisbon, Gondomar, Santa Maria da Feira and Braga but it seems that first ever Eurovision Song Contest has been locked to Lisbon and. most ,likely to the already prepared for the event venue MEO arena.
Although Lisbon and MEO arena proclaimed as host city and venue almost immediately after Portugal’s triumph in Kyiv by RTP officials the broadcaster decided to slow down and get more offers and proposal to make a transparent and more democratic selection.
“We have a lot of commercial interest, but we’re still in the phase of creating the concept,” RTP’s President Gonçalo Reis said in an interview with Jornal de Negócios. “We already have a financial model defined, but Eurovision requires the involvement of the host city, tourism boards and an effort to create partnerships with both public and private sponsors.”
Lisbon is the first candidate city with the capital sign on it and clearly the winner of the internal selection. They can serve with great transportation and airport system plus good accommodation and venue.
Gondomar offered Multiusos de Gondomar to host the event, an arena of a 8,000 auditors capacity but lacking transportation and accommodation infrastructure. Porto’s airport serve the city’s needs, from a distance of 25km.
Santa Maria da Feira offers Europarque de Santa Maria da Feira as venue for the event which has a capacity of 11,000 auditors. International artists have performed there already but there are not enough beds to accommodate the international guests and also served by Porto’s international airpot which is 50km away.
Braga, considered the new hot spot in the country with numerous tourists last year is the third city in population in the country. Many possible venues offered for the event including the Exposition Park which will be ready on Match able to host 15,000 auditors but it seems unlikely the EBU to enter an under construction venue stress procedure after what happened in Kyiv. But the city has no international airport nearby and not good transportation city although it has great accommodation offers.