After months of speculations it is now official that next year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Düsseldorf. The city won over more internationally better know cities like Hamburg and Berlin by offering the largest venue, the Esprit Arena, for the three live shows in May.
Germany had a luxury problem when choosing a venue for the Eurovision Song Contest. In this process 7 cities all expressed their interest in hosting the Contest. These cities were then narrowed down to 4; Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover and Düsseldorf.
Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf will be hosting the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. It is not yet known exactly how many tickets will be available for each of the shows, but for concerts this stadium has a capacity of 54.000, but it is believed that the capacity for the Contest will be around 25.000 and therefore won’t be the biggest venue ever.
The stadium was build from 2002 to 2004 and is currently home field for Fortuna Düsseldorf from 2nd Bundesliga. Up until 2009 the stadium, with a closable roof, was named after the German airline LTU. The current name comes from the clothing manufaturer, Esprit.
The biggest venue so far to host the Eurovision Song Contest was Parken, Copenhagen in 2001. DR, Danish broadcaster, had at the winning press conference in Stockholm said that they wanted to make the usual 15.000 audience look like an intimate dinner. Only way to do that was to take the Danish national football stadium and put a sliding roof over it. That resulted in 38.000 tickets available for the final that was solved out in about half an hour! At that time fans were complaining that a football stadium isn’t suitable; it is simply too big and the acoustics isn’t made for events such as the Eurovision Song Contest resolving in complaints that the sound wasn’t good enough in the hall. Time will now tell if the same kind of complaints will appear once again now that Düsseldorf is also going for a large football stadium.
The 2011 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in May with the two semi-finals on the 10th and the 12th and the final Saturday the 14th.