After having won the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest Russia will be hosting the 2009 edition, but where will it be? It will be a difficult choice between their capital, Moscow and the more western styled Saint Petersburg.
For many countries the capital is the only real option as host city for an event like the Eurovision Song Contest, at least the first time they win the Contest. Turkey however chose Istanbul over Ankara to host the event in 2004, which is more western, orientated. For Russia the choice is not going to be easy.
At the winning press conference in Belgrade Dima Bilan said: “See you all in Moscow next year”, but it is not at all sure yet that it will be the capital hosting it. Moscow is the most expensive city in the world and might as such scare many potential visitors away. On the other hand then the city has developed a lot and offers a luxury and a fashion not seen in many western European capitals.
Saint Petersburg is however a strong alternative. It was the country’s capital up for more than 200 years, until 1918 and is today Russia’s second largest city and with its 4,6 million inhabitants it is actually the 4th largest city in Europe after Moscow, London and Paris.
Moscow is the country’s centre whether it comes to politics, economic, education, transportation or religion and as basically all nationwide medias are located here it seems the most obvious choice, at least for the Russians. Many foreign fans will probably prefer Saint Petersburg, as it is more western styled being the link between the Baltic Sea and the rest of Russia and easier to reach for many. And unlike Moscow then it hasn’t suffered from any major terrorist attacks.
No matter where in Russia the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted one thing is sure; it will be colder than Belgrade! The average temperature for May is for Saint Petersburg between 5,7°C and 14,7°C. For Moscow it is just a little bit warmer with an average between 7,3°C and 18,1°C.
In my view
Personally I would prefer Saint Petersburg. It is easier to come to, a more interesting city to visit, not nearly as expensive and if Moscow is chosen wouldn’t the whole debate about it being a safe place pop up again?The opinion expressed in "In my view" are those of the author and are not necessarily the one of EuroVisionary.com.