The venue of the contest, International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, Ukraine
The contest took place in the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev, following Ukraine's victory at the 2016 contest with the song "1944", written and performed by Jamala. The International Exhibition Centre has a capacity of approximately 11,000 attendees and is the largest exhibition centre in Kiev. Located in the western part of the Livoberezhna microdistrict, the centre was opened in October 2002, and its head since its construction was Anatoly Tkachenko.
Locations of the candidate cities: the eliminated cities are marked in red, with the shortlisted cities in green and the chosen host city in blue.
The Deputy Chief of host broadcaster National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC) and Head of Delegation for Ukraine, Viktoria Romanova, stated on 18 May 2016 that the first organisational meeting for the contest would take place before 8 June, during which the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and UA:PBC would go through the technical requirements for the contest, as well as any training required for the contest to take place in Ukraine. Romanova also announced that the venue for the contest would be announced over the summer.
UA:PBC and the Ukrainian Government formally launched the bidding process for interested cities to apply to host the contest on 23 June. The selection of the host city was scheduled to be conducted in four stages:
- 24 June – 8 July: Interested cities were formally invited to submit their bids.
- 8–15 July: A working group within UA:PBC and a government-appointed Local Organisational Committee (LOC) headed by Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman reviewed submitted bids prior to their formal presentation.
- 18–22 July: Candidate cities formally presented their bids to the LOC. The bids of three cities were shortlisted and handed over to the EBU.
- 22 July – 1 August: The three shortlisted cities were inspected by representatives from the EBU and LOC to explore their infrastructure and implementation of their bids. A press conference was initially planned to be held during this period to announce the selection results and the host city.
The following criteria were outlined for the selection of the host city:
- The venue must be covered with a capacity of at least 7,000 but ideally up to 10,000 attendees.
- An international press centre must be able to accommodate no less than 1,550 journalists.
- Venues must also be provided for the opening and closing ceremonies of at least 3,000 attendees.
- The host city must have fairly priced hotel rooms to European standards, that are located in close proximity to the venue and the city centre. At least 2,000 hotel rooms must be provided: 1,000 for participating delegations and 1,000 for accredited media and fans.
- The host city must be able to guarantee the safety and security of participants, members of delegations and guests.
- The host city must have modern transport infrastructure: an international airport and readily available transport between the airport, the city and hotels, in addition to convenient traffic in the city and the opportunity to provide additional transport routes.
- The host city must provide a social program alongside their bid, showcasing the hospitality, originality, cultural values and identity of both the city and Ukraine.
Six cities submitted applications by the deadline of 8 July: Dnipro, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kiev, Lviv and Odessa. Prior to the opening of the bidding process, the cities of Cherkasy, Irpin, Uzhhorod and Vinnytsia had declared their interest in hosting the contest, but did not submit a formal bid. Ukrainian Culture Minister Yevhen Nyshchuk stated on 30 June that an appropriate venue for the contest does not exist in Ukraine, suggesting that the construction of a new venue in Kiev or Lviv should be considered.
The six candidate cities were officially presented to the LOC on 20 July in a two-hour live discussion show titled City Battle, broadcast from the UA:Pershyi studios in Kiev and moderated by Timur Miroshnychenko, with radio commentary from Olena Zelinchenko. The show was broadcast on UA:Pershyi, Radio Ukraine and the UA:Pershyi YouTube channel with commentary in English and Ukrainian. During the show, a representative from each candidate city presented its bid in front of a live studio audience:
- Dnipro: Borys Filatov (City Mayor)
- Kharkiv: Ihor Terekhov (Deputy City Mayor)
- Kherson: Volodymyr Mykolaienko (City Mayor)
- Kiev: Oleksii Reznikov (Deputy Head of City State Administration)
- Lviv: Andrii Moskalenko (Deputy City Mayor)
- Odessa: Pavlo Vugelman (Deputy City Mayor)
Members of the LOC, media representatives, Ukrainian musical experts and fans also participated in the discussion.
UA:PBC announced on 22 July that the bids from Dnipro, Kiev and Odessa had been shortlisted for further consideration.
The EBU announced on 30 July that the host city would be announced "in due course", rather than on the previously stated date of 1 August, with Executive Supervisor of the contest Jon Ola Sand stating that the EBU "really want to take the time it takes to come up with the right decision". The Deputy General Director of UA:PBC, Oleksandr Kharebin, stated on 10 August that the host city would be announced on Ukrainian Independence Day, 24 August. The announcement was later scheduled to take place on 25 August; however, it was postponed at 14:00 EEST, one hour before it was due to take place, with NTU citing the need to further consider some fine details regarding the decision.
After several delays in announcing the host city, UA:PBC announced on 8 September that they would be meeting with the Ukrainian Government and the LOC on 9 September and that a press conference to announce the host city was scheduled to take place at 13:00 EEST on the same day from the Government Press Centre in Kiev. Kiev was announced as the host city for the contest with the International Exhibition Centre selected as the venue.
Key † Host venue ‡ Shortlisted