Eurovision 2019 is a long way from being decided. But some Dutchies seem to think that the bidding phase for Eurovision 2020 host city in the Netherlands is already taking place.
Since the Netherlands is the bookmakers’ favourite to win the upcoming edition of the contest, independent political party Group De Mos/Hart voor Den Haag brought up the topic of hosting Eurovision 2020 at a city council meeting in The Hague. The meeting came just one week after Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema hinted that Amsterdam would place a bid to host the 2020 edition if the Netherlands were to win.
The Hague — the Netherlands’ political capital — doesn’t want to lag behind in the process, obviously. Home to the Peace Palace, which houses the International Court of Justice, the city has a perfect reason to host Eurovision 2020: the event would coincide with 75 years of Dutch peace following the end of the Second World War.
There are many reasons fans should want The Hague to host the event if The Netherlands wins. It’s a beautiful Baroque-style city with old-fashioned tram lines along the coast. Who wouldn’t want to take a dive in the North Sea and eat pancakes in Scheveningen before going to the Grand Final of Eurovision 2020?
Others will argue that the city has already had its moment in the sun: it hosted the last two editions of the contest on Dutch soil in 1976 and 1980. Both took place in the Congresgebouw, now known as the World Forum.
Their experience hosting and the solid infrastructure are good enough reasons for Group De Mos/Hart voor Den Haag to submit a bid to host. But they’ve clearly missed the memo that in those 40 years the contest has changed enormously.
Recognising that the World Forum — with its capacity of 5,000 — is perhaps too small, the council opted for using their largest multi-purpose venue: Cars Jeans Stadion. It can hold up to 15,000 spectators. Doesn’t seem problematic, right?
There are, of course, issues. First and foremost, the Cars Jeans Stadion currently has no roof. Secondly, it’s home to football club ADO Den Haag, which play in the Eredivisie, the Dutch equivalent to the Premier League. In order to host Eurovision in that venue, the municipality would have to kick the football club out of their own stadium for almost two months. The Dutch football season lasts until late May.
The council members do not fully understand the scale, duration and cost of the event either, calling it a “festival” or, in other words, an event that takes place for only a few days. Ralf Sluijs, entrepreneur and executive member of the city council, told Omroep West that he sees hosting Eurovision as an economic boost for the city.
“The festival takes place for at least four days,” he said. “All entrants and their entourages, the world press and the visitors will sleep, eat and shop in the Hague. That cash will flow directly into the cash register of our local entrepreneurs. I can already hear the entrepreneurs singing along happily with the festival.”
Unless The Hague was the build a new stadium or add a roof to its stadium, it seems unlikely that the Dutch would host Eurovision 2020 in the city of Peace and Justice. And, before we forget, we should perhaps wait and see whether Duncan Laurence is actually able to bring it home for The Netherlands first.
What do you think about the proposal? Do you want another city to host Eurovision? And isn’t it a bit early to be talking about this? Let us know in the comments box below!
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