The European Broadcasting Union has officially decided to confirm Lisbon, the Portuguese capital as the 2018 Eurovision host city. The dates of the contest will be 8th, 10th, 12th of May.
Lisbon has emerged victorious and will host the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Earlier, RTP did confirm Lisbon as the host city but now the EBU confirmed the news as well. It had soon become clear that Portugal’s capital city was the only one providing a viable bid, with both the infrastructure and the hotel capacity meeting the EBU’s requirements to host this huge event.
Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of The Eurovision Song Contest said the following:
We are very pleased to announce that RTP will be hosting the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. Both the City and the venue have presented exemplary proposals, and we look forward to working together to make Portugal’s first ever Eurovision the most exciting one yet. We would like to congratulate RTP on their professional and detailed assessments of all the bids.
Gonçalo Reis, the CEO of RTP gave the following statement:
Hosting the Eurovision 2018 is a great opportunity for Portugal, Lisbon, the entertainment industry, and RTP. We look forward to organizing an event that will show our creative capabilities.
Lisbon as a city
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and has a population of around 2.7 million people. It has a twin city connection with 17 different cities including Madrid, Budapest and Zagreb. Lisbon is the wealthiest region in Portugal, producing 45% of the Portuguese GDP, which makes it well above the European per capita average. Two UNESCO World heritage sites are located in Lisbon: Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery. Average temperatures for May are between 18 and 23, with a record high of 37.8 degrees centigrade.
The contest will be held in the MEO Arena. It is the joint third largest indoor arena in Europe and the largest in Portugal. The arena already hosted many concerts, from several big superstars including Beyonce and Ariana Grande.
The MEO Arena has a capacity of 20.000 people, though its normal capacity may be slightly reduced for a big stage and camera positions. According to ESC Insight the other venues are likely to be close to the arena. The arena itself is well suitable for public transport, due to the nearby Oriente metro and train station. The Park of Nations area which surrounds the venue has plenty of options for support facilities such as a press centre, Euroclub and Eurovillage as well as many bars and cafes. RTP will not be short of eager sponsors. Lots of companies will want to be associated with this long overdue hosting of Eurovision.
Dates of the 2018 contest are the 8th, 10th and the Grand Final on Saturday the 12th of May. This means that the contest, as opposed to last year, will now not clash with big international football matches. Last year’s viewing figures took a small hit due to the clash with Champions League semi finals.
The contest in 2018 will be Portugal’s first hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest, after Salvador Sobral’s runaway victory in Kiev. Portugal have been in the contest since 1964, and have had 49 appearances in that time. Of those, 41 entries got to the finals.