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Malmö to host Eurovision, but Copenhagen could be the real winner
After months of speculation, it was announced last week that Malmö will be the Swedish city to host the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. And now it appears that decision could wind up benefitting Copenhagen.
According to an agreement obtained by Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan, the city of Malmö and Swedish public broadcaster SVT hope to hold an event in Copenhagen during the month-long lead up to the competition.
Sweden will host the annual song contest, which draws 125 million viewers, on May 21 thanks to its resounding win in Azerbaijan this year. Malmö was selected as host after it became apparent that Stockholm’s Globe Arena had already been booked for the ice hockey world championships.
“Together with other groups in the Øresund region, the city will work towards holding one of these events on Rådhuspladsen in Copenhagen,” according to the report, Sydsvenskan writes.
Both Malmö and Copenhagen officials say they are thrilled by the choice, citing great exposure for the Øresund region.
“It would of course bring Copenhagen a good deal of tourism opportunities, but would first and foremost be an enormous publicity opportunity for the Øresund region to be shown for all of Europe. You just can’t buy that kind of publicity,” said Peter Rømer Hansen, development director for Wonderful Copenhagen, the city’s tourism board.
Johan Hermansson, a Malmö tourism promotion official, said he thought it would be “great” to involve the entire Øresund region, including Copenhagen, given Denmark’s participation in one of the event’s semi-finals.
The decision to hold the event in the 15,000-seat Malmö Arena over Stockholm’s suburban Friends Arena, which seats 65,000, has also received a great deal of criticism, particularly from those who believe Copenhagen will be reaping the financial benefits of Sweden’s musical triumph.
“You give away the bigger portion of the profits to a country that ultimately does not share our views on multiculturalism or migration,” three panellists, all of whom are hotel managers in Stockholm, were cited by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet as saying.