Yesterday, May 12th 2023, Dutch newspaper, “Algemeen Dagblad (AD)”, stated that in case Finland wins the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, chances are highly unlikely that Finland’s capital, Helsinki, will organize the next contest.
17 years after Lordi’s win
It is 17 years after Finnish monster rock band, Lordi, won the contest in Greece’s capital, Athens, which meant that the year after the contest was organized in the Finnish capital, Helsinki. This year Finnish contestant, Käärijää, has a huge chance to win the contest. Unfortunately this might also mean that Finland’s capital has to decline the opportunity to host the contest again. Several mega events could already not be organized in Finland’s capital, like: Concerts by Kiss, The Cure, Eric Clapton, and Queen & Adam Lambert. The venue that hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, the Hartwall Arena, is in the hands of Russian oligarchs, and this means that Helsinki does not have an events hall anymore to be able to host the contest.
The Hartwall Arena
Since March of 2022 the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki faces huge problems, because since that month music fans cannot visit their music temple anymore, although the events hall can seat 15,000 people. Huge performances of world-famous acts have been cancelled, and had to be organized almost 200 km away from Helsinki, i.e. in Tampere. The name Hartwall Arena got cancelled as well, because the beverage giant the name of the events hall refers to stopped exploiting the arena, and as of then the arena is called the “Helsinki Halli”.
That Hartwall stopped exploiting the arena is because this venue is in the hands of two Russian oligarchs, Gennady Timchencko and Boris Rotenberg. Both these oligarchs have been put on a sanction list by the United Kingdom, right before the war in Ukraine began. The arena is looking for new owners, but that is a mission that seems more difficult than expected, because it is tough to do business with two businessmen that are on a sanction list and are really close to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
Sanna Forsström, who manages the promotion of the city of Helsinki, and the events that are being organized in this city, is very worried about this situation. In an interview she stated the following about the matter:
“This situation influences our capability to compete as a city, but also as a country. We are in a situation in which some grand events avoid Finland, and the organizers of these events do not even want to come to Tampere anymore.”by Sanna Forsström, Manager Promotion of the city of Helsinki
Tampere is the best alternative
In case Finland wins this year’s contest, than the city of Tampere offers the best alternative; the city has a whole new arena that was finished in 2021, the Nokia Arena. The inhabitants of Finland’s capital, Helsinki, might feel sad, because they will not be able to organize the biggest music festival in the world again, and they also missed out on organizing the world championship ice hockey, which is immensely popular in Finland.
It is up to Käärijää
Now it is up to Käärijää to win the contest, because he has some tough competition tonight, since there is also Loreen, who has also been hyped for months to win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Well, it most definitely keeps things exciting for tonight’s show!
The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will take place on May 9th, 11th, and 13th 2023 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. 37 countries will compete for the crown. This year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be a joint venture, since last year’s winner Ukraine cannot organize the contest on home soil because of the ongoing war with Russia.