Eurovision 2020 in The Netherlands: Host city announced in August, Amsterdam already out

Ahoy Rotterdam. Photo Credit: stevenbrandist Flickr via Compfight cc

After Duncan Laurence won the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 on behalf of The Netherlands, the first steps towards hosting the contest in The Netherlands in 2020 have already been taken. The host city will be announced in August.

Eurovision 2020 not in Amsterdam

Capital city Amsterdam will not host Eurovision, because they do not have the right venue available. In recent years, Tel Aviv and Malmö (Sweden) were other non-capital cities to host the Eurovision Song Contest.

The capital Amsterdam seemed to be a logical option to be the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. However, on the 4th of July 2019, the mayor Femke Halsema announced Amsterdam would not provide a bid for the contest. “There is no suitable location available,” she says.

Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam?

The second city of The Netherlands, Rotterdam, arguably has the best venue to offer. At least, the chief of Ahoy says so herself. A group of Event Managers in The Netherlands did some research and also conclude: Rotterdam is the best option.

Ahoy has a show venue, with congress halls directly next to it, in the same building. The EBU could use these halls not only for a press center, but also for delegation spaces & rooms for the crew to work in. Ahoy has also cleared its entire schedule for the months of April & May, emphasizing they are ready to host Eurovision.

When it comes to working at the contest, for crew ánd journalists, Ahoy has an ideal package. It also hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and MTV Europe Awards in the past.

The city of Rotterdam, and other big cities directly attached to it, also offer plenty of hotels and accommodations to stay for the delegations and journalists. It is within a 40 minute drive from the main airport Schiphol. And Rotterdam even has its own airport, which connects it to several other European countries.

Eurovision 2020 in Maastricht?

Maastricht is a city in the deep south of The Netherlands. It has a congress centre MECC which can fit around 13.000 people for Eurovision. Organizing Eurovision in Maastricht would be a symbolic gesture, because of the The Maastricht Treaty for European integration. The theme for Maastricht is therefore: “Come Closer”.

Maastricht also fulfills the requirements in terms of hotel rooms and traffic plans. The city council of Maastricht has promised to contribute financially.

These cities are out of the process:

  • Amsterdam was one of the first cities that made their interest in the contest known, But on the 4th of July 2019, the mayor Femke Halsema announced Amsterdam would not provide a bid for the contest. “There is no suitable location available,” she says.
  • Leeuwarden originally also applied to host Eurovision. However, on June 18, Leeuwarden announced that they have withdrawn from the process. EBU had informed Leeuwarden that the roof of their location, WTC Expo, was too low to host Eurovision.
  • The Hague is a relatively large city as well, and the Dutch government is situated here. Originally, The Hague wanted to build a roof over their football stadium, to create a Eurovision venue. Ambitious plans like these are something the EBU has never been too fond of, which forced The Hague to drop out at the end of June.
  • The city of Breda also made their interest clear. However, Breda has withdrawn itself from the bidding process on July 1st.
  • Gelredome in Arnhem is a venue which has a lot of experience with big events. EBU requires that the Eurovision venue is ready at least 6 weeks prior to the competition. Therefore, the local government convinced football club Vitesse to move to another stadium for the end of the competition. Nevertheless, NPO eliminated Arnhem from the bidding process on July 16th.
  • Utrecht and Den Bosch made it to the penultimate round together with Arnhem. However, both cities struggled with finances. On top of that, venue Jaarbeurs in Utrecht proved not high enough to host Eurovision. NPO eliminated both cities from the process on July 16th.

Dates for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020

Due to clashes with football (either Champions League, Europa League or the German cup final on the 23rd of May) it looks like the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 will take place on the 12th, 14th and 16th of May 2020. A week earlier is not an option. This is because of Memorial Day and Liberation Day on the 4th and 5th of May. Organizing a semi final on those days is not an option.

Rehearsals on the 5th of May may also be impossible in The Netherlands. However, we have seen in Israel 2019 that EBU prefers starting on a Saturday over having the final of Eurovision clashing with the German cup final.

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