Yesterday the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Israeli national broadcaster KAN made the announcement fans had been waiting on for months - the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in Tel Aviv with the shows falling on May 14th, 16th and 18th. The site for the competition was also announced as the Tel Aviv Convention Centre which has a capacity of 9,000. However this morning large newspaper 'Israel Hayom', which has the largest daily circulation of all print media in Israel, is reporting news that may upset fans of the contest. Whilst the capacity of the convention centre is 9,000, only 4,000 tickets for fans will be sold per show.
The paper is reporting that whilst the capacity for the centre is 9,000, initial plans have suggested that 2,000 seats will be blocked out for the stage and a further 3,000 tickets will be reserved for the EBU, delegations and other reserved organisations to guarantee their seats in the hall. This means that only 4,000 tickets will be made available to the public per show. This is guaranteed to be controversial for fans as the losing bid by Jerusalem offered a capacity of over 15,000 people.
The ticket selling process faced a lot of criticism last year for the 2018 contest held in Lisbon as many fans were left in online queues for hours to buy tickets and ultimately many were unable to purchase a ticket at all. The contest was held in the famous Altice Arena, which has a capacity of 20,000 - although roughly only 10,000 tickets were on sale. The problems many fans had getting these tickets will surely be enough to worry fans hoping to attend the show next May in Tel Aviv.
Tickets for the event are planned to go on sale in December 2018 - with further waves of ticket releases to take place in the lead up to May.
As the demand for tickets to the Eurovision events grow, now watched by approximately 200 million people per year, has Israel made a massive mistake by hosting the event in a convention centre so small?
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