And the winner is... Düsseldorf!
After a long bid- and selection process, Düsseldorf has been chosen as Host City of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest! The final decision was taken only moments ago, and approved by the song contest's governing body, the Reference Group. While media believed the choice was made already last week, the selection was exciting until the very last moment..!
The upcoming running of the Eurovision Song Contest will take place at Fortuna Düsseldorf's arena, which has a maximum seating capacity of 54,400 people. Due to the required space for the stage and technical facilities, the capacity for the Eurovision Song Contest will be lower - approximately 24,000 spectators can attend each of the three live shows and some of the Dress Rehearals. The arena is located within five kilometers from both Düsseldorf's international airport as well as the city centre.
The Semi-Finals are scheduled to take place on 10 and 12 May, the Final on 14 May, 2011. Rehearsals are likely to kick off on Sunday 1 May.
The bid process
Four cities were in the running to host the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest; Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Hannover. Over the past months, each city has made an extraordinary effort to offer host broadcaster NDR and the European Broadcasting Union the best possible conditions to organise an unforgettable event in May 2011. Just as in the contest itself, only one can win. After detailed analysis and evaluation visits to all four cities, a series of practical challenges had to be overcome. Once all challenges were solved, the official announcement could be made immediately.
"Berlin, Hamburg and Hannover had very imaginative and elaborate applications. All cities were working hard and dedicatedly to host the Eurovision Song Contest. For this commitment, sincere thanks are given to Berlin, Hamburg and Hannover by the NDR team," Schreiber concluded.
NDR's Director General Lutz Marmor said: "Düsseldorf twelve points - North Rhine-Westphalia's capital city provides the best conditions for the Eurovision Song Contest. I congratulate Düsseldorf cordially - and just as cordially I thank the other three cities for going into the race enthusiastically with attractive concepts".
ARD Head of Entertainment Thomas Schreiber: "Düsseldorf scored mainly with the arena and its surroundings. More than 24,000 viewers can attend each of the two Semi-Finals, the Grand Final, and also the Dress Rehearsals. It was important to us that the most populous EU member state offers as many fans from Germany, but also from the neighboring countries, the opportunitiy to experience this event live. As part of the metropolitan area Rhein/Ruhr, Düsseldorf has a vast urban catchment reaching even into the Netherlands and Belgium."
According to the production team, the conditions for a television production with more than 40 participating countries are "excellent". The arena has perfect acoustics and provides enough height and space behind the scenes for the short alteration breaks between the songs. Journalists will have optimal working conditions in the neighboring athletic sports arena.
While the City of Düsseldorf only has some 600,000 inhabitants, it is located close to the Dutch and Belgian borders and finds itself near the Ruhr area, the home of more than 10 million people. Within a 100-kilometer radius you will find cities such as Bonn, Aachen, Colone and Dortmund. Apart from Düsseldorf Airport, which connects to nearly every major airport in Europe, there are various other ways to get to the Eurovision Song Contest capital of 2011. You can fly to Colone, the largest low-cost airport of Germany, and Weeze, which is just 40 minutes from Düsseldorf by train.
- ...twin-city with Moscow, host of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest;
- ...located on the east bank of the river Rhine;
- ...the capital of the German advertisement and fashion industry, famous for its art academy and its museums;
- ...ranked 6th on the Quality of Living Survey by Mercer;
- ...famous for its television tower, which carries the largest digital clock in the world;
- ...a beer city with what they call 'the longest bar in the world'; 250 pubs and restaurants side by side in the cosy Altstadt (Old Town), promising lots of fun for your stay
"Why so long?"
Many Eurovision.tv readers asked us: "Why does it take so long to pick a Host City this year?"
"For the first time in many years, we find ourselves in the luxurious position of having a choice. In most countries, only the capital city has the venue, hotel capacity and technical infrastructure to host an event as large as the Eurovision Song Contest. In Germany, there are many cities who meet the requirements. By organising a fair bid process, Host Broadcaster NDR managed to find the most ideal circumstances to host the contest in Germany, which is in everyone's best interest," said Sietse Bakker, Manager Communications & PR of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Looking for tickets, press/fan accreditation, hotels?
Tickets for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest are likely to go on sale in late autumn. The precise date will be communicated well in advance through www.eurovision.tv. To receive an email alert as soon as more information about ticket sales becomes available, signup to MyEurovision right away!
Later this year a selection of pre-booked hotels will be made available for accredited press and fans. The accreditation window for press and fans is expected to open on 25 January. Accreditation will take place online.
Apart from Düsseldorf, affordable hotels can also be found in the nearby cities of Ratingen, Neuss, Mettmann, Duisburg and Oberhausen. All cities are easily connected to Düsseldorf through public transport.
NDR on schedule
While the selection of a Host City was in full swing, NDR continued the preparations for the upcoming contest, which means they are well on schedule in the lead up to the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest.