The NEC Group says it is ready to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest after TV bosses declared Ukraine would not be able to.
As 2022 winner, it would be customary for Ukraine to hold the following year’s event but it was recently announced that this could not happen because of the ongoing war there.
As the UK came second in this year’s Eurovision, it is now in the front running to host next year’s ceremony.
NEC Group has announced it has cleared the diary at the Resorts World Arena in Solihull for next May although the specific dates of the show are yet to be announced.
The 2023 competition will comprise two semi-finals and a final on the Saturday night which is expected to add millions to the region’s tourism economy over the weekend.
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The famous song contest was last held in the UK in 1998, at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena, now the Utilita Arena, after Katrina and the Waves won the 1997 contest with their song Love Shine a Light.
Resorts World Arena, which sits on main NEC campus next to Birmingham Airport, has previously hosted large-scale television events such as BBC Sports Personality of the Year and the Concert for Ukraine in March which helped raise more than £13 million.
Birmingham City Council leader Cllr Ian Ward said: “To host such an iconic event would be a tremendous honour for our city, especially in light of such a difficult and challenging time for Ukraine.
“Our hearts go out to them and, as a city, we are eager to lend our support in any way that we can.
“The Concert for Ukraine, held at Resorts World Arena back in March, really showed how music can unite us even in the most uncertain and troublesome of times.
“We’re ready to step up to the occasion for the people of Ukraine and make music fans from across the world proud.”
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “The news that Eurovision 2023 could be held in the UK on behalf of Ukraine presents a great opportunity for the West Midlands to shine.
“Not only are we one of the most diverse regions across the whole of Europe but we also have a proud history with this much-loved song contest which has become a fixture of cultural life here and on the continent.
“The last time the UK hosted Eurovision it was right here in Birmingham and so there is absolutely no reason our city and the wider region cannot host this extravaganza again.”