Way back in April, weeks before Eurovision 2019 had even taken place, Duncan Laurence told us that Dutch cities putting out hosting bids for Eurovision 2020 needed to calm down. Speaking to our William, Duncan said: “People, we need to see if I win first!” Now that that’s happened, the host city bidding war has officially begun.

Potential host cities are springing up likes mushrooms. In an earlier post, we collected all of the interested cities, which included Utrecht and Arnhem, Leeuwarden and Maastricht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Surely Dutch officials are going to have a lot to think about as they try to choose just one.

Well the Dutch Tourism Board — the NBTC — have now voiced their opinion. And they do not want Amsterdam to win this race. The NBTC, whose aim is to promote The Netherlands, argues that Eurovision is the perfect opportunity to show Europe there is more to The Netherlands than just Amsterdam.

“Please no images of romantic Amsterdam canals,” they write on their web site. “Use the song festival to show lesser known places in our country. In 2014 we saw Ilse de Lange and Waylon with tulips on a houseboat as an introduction to their song. In 2020, things must change.”

Amsterdam 2020?

Amsterdam, of course, has a lot going for it. Ziggo Dome has a capacity of 17,000 people. It’s the fifth busiest concert venue in the world, behind the likes of Madison Square Garden in New York and the O2 Arena in London. It’s hosted the likes of Nicki Minaj, Katy Pery, Lady Gaga and Beyonce. And Duncan Laurence will perform there as part of his European tour later this year.

The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, is keen too. During her speech at Eurovision in Concert in April she said that she would be happy to welcome Eurovision to her city next year. Amsterdam may be the most obvious city to host the event, but the NBTC says it’s not necessarily the best-suited, as it “is already struggling with the pressure of large numbers of visitors.”

So what about Eurovision in Rotterdam?

The Netherlands’ second city Rotterdam is doing its best to grab the moment. Its Head of Tourism has already told Dutch media that their bid book is about 80% ready and they are currently working on the finishing touches.

The second favourite city to host the event next year, they boast one of the most viable venues in the race. Ahoy has a capacity of 13,500 and, among other events, has hosted the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the MTV Europe Music Awards and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2007.

The municipality of Rotterdam has revealed that they are ready to sink funds into the project to make the dream happen. But they admit that they cannot do this alone and would seek help from the government, broadcasters and sponsors. Mark Rutte — Prime Minister of The Netherlands — has already made it clear he has no plans to provide additional funding for Eurovision next year.

Cities with a serious interest in hosting the event can send in their official bids from June.

Which city are you hoping will land Eurovision 2020? Let us know in the comments below!

Click here for more Netherlands news

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[…] Dutch Tourism Board — the NBTC — have recently come out swinging, releasing a statement that they do not want Amsterdam to win this race. The NBTC, whose aim is to promote The […]

dygh
Guest
dygh

De Efteling is the only suitable place.

Adam Jones
Guest
Adam Jones

I’d prefer Amsterdam.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

It could be Rotterdam…
Or anywhere…

Hi243
Guest
Hi243

I think it will be Rotterdam. Eurovision is an amazing event and we are happy to host it, but we must not forget that Amsterdam is full of tourists and more and more tourists are encouraged to visit other Dutch cities. In addition to that, Amsterdam will host two other major events in the weeks surrounding Eurovision: Sail Amsterdam and Euro 2020. The city of Amsterdam has stated it wants to host the contest, but it does not want to be part of a ‘bidding war’. Rotterdam has got a good venue (Ahoy), great accessibility and it is quite well… Read more »

stommie
Guest
stommie

Don’t forget the Zandvoort Grand Prix which is back on the calendar in one of the first weeks in May.

Dylan Westra
Guest
Dylan Westra

I’d vote for Leeuwarden or Arnhem as both areas have something unique to offer. It would be great to increase tourism there. Leeuwarden was already cultural capital for europe in 2018. Leeuwarden might not be possible because it’s a long way from the airport. However that’s fixable by extra trains and busses. On the rest i don’t know. My second choice would be Arnhem. The city can handle it way better. There is a lot of nature and isn’t stereotype Dutch. With Nijmegen nearby it’s a great place for tourists.

joko
Guest
joko

The problem with Leeuwarden is that the WTC Expo venue is too low that is also for other cities, it would not look good with the camera shots.

Nikko
Guest
Nikko

Curacao 2020? Is this possible???

Sunflower
Guest
Sunflower

i feel like Rotterdam would appreciate it more. Amsterdam would be like, Ah just another international event…

you do you
Guest
you do you

ESC must be in a country that wants tourism, not in the ungrateful The Netherlands.
comment image

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

On the positive note that means that they don’t have to deal with 24/7-drunk tourists like you atm.

you do you
Guest
you do you

Drunk tourist are a given when big events happen, but The Netherlands make everyone feel not-welcomed, because they have enough tourists.
I wonder if those countries really wonder where their wealth come from, because they don’t seem so hard working.

you do you
Guest
you do you

All right, down vote, so you think your wealth comes from selling tulips. Rrrrright!

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

I know you’re trolling because you don’t have anything interesting to do in life, mr. “PEEEERRRRIOOODDDDDTT” with your GIFS. But just for other people who are not aware of the situation; this tourist haltering only applies to Amsterdam. Not the rest of the country. Amsterdam was built with narrow streets for pedestrians, cyclists and horses. In holidays, sunny days and weekends it’s actually packed in the main streets with people. But fortunately there are still enough relatively calm areas in the city center though. BTW Amsterdam has a lot of large events next year around the time of Eurovision already;… Read more »

you do you
Guest
you do you

I like gifs, but this has nothing to do with anything. Please stop saying that Netherlands has enough tourists. It’s disrespectful for esc fans.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

ah okay sorry

you do you
Guest
you do you

Now I understand that you think I’m that person that ended any comment with the word “Period”. I have read his/hers comments, lol I’m not that person. Be ready for the next year. People will comment every mistake your country does.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

cool!

you do you
Guest
you do you

Hosting esc is a blessing and a curse. Good luck! It will be fine, but don’t be offended too often, people will say many things, just stay calm. Ukraine, Portugal, Israel survived, you will survive too.

Charli Cheer Up
Guest
Charli Cheer Up

I have a feeling that it will still be Amsterdam 2020. That’s where the Eurovision Concert is being held for the last couple of years now. No way they’re going to overlook that city. But it would be interesting if they decided to go with another smaller host city instead of the capital like when Sweden hosted 2013 in Malmo instead of Stockholm.

R. B.
Guest
R. B.

Amsterdam or Rotterdam could do it like Düsseldorf. The Johan Cruijff Arena or “De Kuip” would be a great venues for Eurovision, imo.

ste
Guest
ste

what are we arguing about , hahaha, let R’dam have it , A’dam will be fully booked anyway that week, and let’s see what people prefer, partying here, (because there will be big screens put up at all venues AND we will party !!) or will people really prefer to commute in the middle of the night with public transportation to get back to their hotels in Utrecht or A’dam eg. (hahaha, right) – PS let’s stay honest, a hotel room can only be rented out once, and R’dam hotels disposes only of an x number of rooms, on top… Read more »

Giuli
Guest
Giuli

Maybe Amsterdam/Rotterdam.
Semi 1 – Rotterdam
Semi 2 – Rotterdam
Final – Amsterdam

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Not only do we want canals NBTC, we also want tulips, barges, clogs, windmills, Volendam hats and loads of orange things. We don’t need them to know it’s the Netherlands, but it seems right to have them on show. Like the Eiffel Tower in the background when the French jury votes come it.

Dante
Guest
Dante

Eurovision Host City since 1980 1980 – The Hague, Netherlands 1981 – Harrogate, UK 1982 – Dublin, Ireland 1983 – Munchen, Germany 1984 – Luneburg, Germany 1985 – Gothenburg, Sweden 1986 – Bergen, Norway 1987 – Brussel, Belgium 1988 – Dublin, Ireland 1989 – Geneva, Switzerland 1990 – Zagreb, Croatia 1991 – Roma, Italia 1992 – Malmoe, Sweden 1993 – Millerstreet, Northern Irland 1994 – Dublin, Irland 1995 – Dublin, Irland 1996 – Olso, Norwey 1997 – dublin, ireland 1998 – Birmingham, UK 1999 – Jerusaalem, Israel 2000 – Stockholm, Sweden 2001 – Kobenhagen, Denmark 2002 – Riga, Letvia 2003… Read more »

Giuli
Guest
Giuli

Dortmund has never hosted it sorry

AM2PM
Guest
AM2PM

Your English is good! By the way 1993 was held in Millstreet, Republic of Ireland.

Jubi
Guest

why do you wrote “Lisbon south Portugal”???

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Correction: 1981 and 1982 were the other way around. Dublin 1981; Harrogate 1982.
Also, 2011 was Düsseldorf.

Northern McDonalds
Guest
Northern McDonalds

I vote Breda

Pal
Guest
Pal

Maybe Antwerpen

Just Kidding

Tamas
Guest
Tamas

Obviously Amsterdam would be the best option… Knowing how strange the ns system is.. Dudirdng that week wall the trains to Rotterdam/Maastricht will be overcrowded, delayed or canceled… We can still promote 3 other parts of the Netherlands… But if there is a city with enough hotel rooms, arenas, good infrastructure for a big event like this… Why should we not use it?

Dagmar Van den Berg
Guest

I VOTE ARNHEM

Pal
Guest
Pal

Troll

Miguel
Guest
Miguel

Amsterdam please!!!

poe-tay-toe-chips
Guest
poe-tay-toe-chips

Rotterdam sounds great, frankly.

Also, by train Amsterdam and Rotterdam aren’t even that far from each other. Any tourists coming for ESC can very easily visit both cities during their stay in the Netherlands.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I think it’s a great idea to host it in Rotterdam. When tourists think about the Netherlands, they normally focus only in Amsterdam, which makes the city crowded and doesn’t allow the rest of the country to reach all its touristic potential (it’s beautiful, with small distances between a lot of interesting cities). Also, the more touristic cities one country has, the easier it will be to make tourism sustainable there. The small rant about tulips and canals also makes sense to me, because the Netherlands (as many other countries around the world) have much more to offer than stereotypes.

DN
Guest
DN

Ahoy Arena has a capacity of 16.500. Not 13,500.

Olga
Guest
Olga

but the esc stage & maybe green room would eat up 3000 seats easily

Taker
Guest
Taker

https://youtu.be/Qk93aWUurNg
You must see this! Unbelievable!

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

By the way, to think about the stage design and get Florian Wieder OUT of the picture, would it be cool to have a kind of techno, festival-y kind of stage, like the ones from Flying Dutch or Awakenings (but less extreme and more act-versatile, of course) ?

Pam
Guest
Pam

I think Florian did great this year, cut him some slack.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

We tried, but not for the fourth time in a row, please.

Pal
Guest
Pal

Maybe A collab with Dutch & Florian?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

All the tourist board needed to say was: “Amsterdam is overcrowded, find somewhere else.” But instead, there is a soft rant about “images of romantic Amsterdam canals”. This image really has little or nothing to do with the practicality of the bids. Better to get their heads out of their canals, frankly.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Well, considering Rotterdam is taking their bid seriously, and Duncan also raised near it, I’m really convinced it will be Rotterdam 2020 in a short time.

joko
Guest
joko

my thoughts exactly!

Anton Aronsson
Guest

I prefer Rotterdam as city and Ziggo Dome as the venue.
Ziggo dome is a bad as sss Arena! I can already see “Welcome To Eurovision 2020 Amsterdam” on the led Wall
Fun Fact: Ziggo dome was nominated as the international venue of the year. But was won by Tele2 Arena that hosted the aside event of Eurovision 2016!

Cocooo
Guest
Cocooo

Fun fact: SVT originally wanted to host the Eurovision 2016 in Tele 2 Arena, but neither of the football teams who play their games there weren’t keen on moving out for six weeks, so they had to go for Globen instead.

Sunflower
Guest
Sunflower

Yeah Globen Was better with the theme of dandelion!

KYLLITO
Guest
KYLLITO

Per Wikipedia, Duncan is from Spijkenisse which is part of Rotterdam. He could help host in his hometown if it was held in Rotterdam.

Wendela
Guest

i can already see Esc in Rotterdam, it’s so clean & modern!

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

LMAO why so much hostility towards Capital cities? Eurovision is a big grand event, and should be hosted in a big grand venue, in the countries flagship.

For some fans it has become “trendy” to oppose the capital and go for some obscure choice.

Eurovision has never been in Amsterdam before, it’s about time.
Tel Aviv proved it’s not a good idea to host in a shoe box.

EscFan2008
Guest
EscFan2008

1970 in Amsterdam, do your research before you’re making a statement

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Amsterdam was jam-packed now. It’ll be overcrowded with chances of Eurovision being held there.

you do you
Guest
you do you

just 1 . 50 moments of pure joy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YSal7ItkWw

Harald
Guest
Harald

Amsterdam is cute, but it is being ruined by tourism the same way as Barcelona and Venice are. Rotterdam is now the place to be in NL for artists and other creative people. I think Rotterdam might actually surprise a large number of visitors with its amazing skyline, cutting-edge modern architecture, and cool multilateral vibe. I also have a weak spot for Maastricht. Even though it is a small city, it is extremely beautiful and cosmopolitan (e.g. 60% of students at Maastricht University are non-Dutch). The city is used to staging big international events, and does have the required infrastructure… Read more »

you do you
Guest
you do you

How can any city be ruined by tourism? You are ungrateful. You are alive because of tourism, can you get it? You lazy leftists think tourism is bad when, in fact, only tourism puts a bread on your table.

Harald
Guest
Harald

Cities get ruined by tourism when locals move out and their empty houses become hotels or airbnb’s. When fewer locals live in an area, businesses like bakeries, drycleaners, butchers etc. close shop as well, and they are being replaced by souvenir stores and fast food joints. Such a vicious circle is currently in full flow in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Venice, Dubrovnik, Prague and many other cities across Europe at a very fast rate. Surely, cities like London and Paris get a lot of visitors too, but these are large cities where tourists are spread more evenly over a larger area. Amsterdam,… Read more »

you do you
Guest
you do you

I don’t know, but if locals move out, do they have multiple options? Do you prefer famine and no other option than growing potatoes (actually the secret of life). ? Please, think about so many esc countries that would love to have more tourism. Don’t take this for granted.

Harald
Guest
Harald

Tourism accounts for just 5% of the Netherlands’ economy. What’s your obsession with famine/bread/potatoes? No offense!
Anyway, this thread is getting seriously side-tracked. My original point was that it would be great if ESC 2020 would take place in Rotterdam or Maastricht (and the Dutch Tourist Board seems to agree with me, as overtourism is a serious problem affecting Amsterdam)!

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Well, doesn’t mean Netherlands don’t have other places for tourism. As example, Rotterdam.

you do you
Guest
you do you

Grow potatoes. Famine is close! I’d wish were a joke. Grow potatoes!

you do you
Guest
you do you

To be honest, I’ve learned this from the Outlander,
but is 100% true.
comment image

you do you
Guest
you do you

Like it or not, but without potatoes they would not have survived, especially Janet and her family.
comment image

Adam Jones
Guest
Adam Jones

Am I understanding you correctly when you say, since Amsterdam is being ruined by tourism, lets now ruin another city with tourism, in this case Rotterdam?

John
Guest

My vote would be Rotterdam (or anywhere) over Amsterdam. Would much rather see Eurovision hosted in a city that will really make the most of it and benefit from the advertising than a city like Amsterdam which might treat it as any other event.

pama
Guest
pama

”The Netherlands, argues that Eurovision is the perfect opportunity to show Europe there is more to The Netherlands than just Amsterdam.”

Are you for real!? ESC has NEVER been in Amsterdam, all 4 editions before were in the country.

John
Guest

1970 was held in Amsterdam.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

due to many ebu scandals, bad losers, politicals I think many countries will withdraw next year…
Belarus, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Russia, Armenia, Montenegro & UK will not participate…
Maybe a low record of 35 countries only will participate?

Marco
Guest
Marco

Same thing was said last year when Israel won….in the end they will realize that Eurovision is a grand opportunity not only for their artists but also for tourism. 35 countries might be a bit low, and I actually would like to see Bulgaria and Bosnia returning to the competition. We could even see the missing Benelux member returning…

Wendela
Guest

Bulgaria’s television channel don’t have the ability of joining eurovision due to a new economical Agenda. And Bosnia don’t have money for it either…
Luxembourg don’t really want to join Eurovision anymore…

Lol
Guest

What are you on about? Troll

Iner
Guest
Iner

If they didn’t withdraw this year i don’t see reason why they should do next year.

you do you
Guest
you do you

It doesn’t matter, all Netherlands are like a normal city anywhere else, Who cares where is the airport? The same country, with their dr ugs and who res everywhere, a social experiment, like Sweden. Search if you don’t believe me.

Tim
Guest
Tim

If Rotterdam hosts I think that it will be like Malmo 2013. Modern buildings, Young city and a Genuine show!
But I think Ziggo Dome is much more cooler and newer than Ahoy. Miss when we only where in new arenas like Telenor Arena 2010, Esprit Arena 2011, Baku Crystal Hall 2012 & Malmo Arena 2013.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

there’s no way they’re hosting in amsterdam considering how overcrowded it already is, their tourist board has given up on promoting it bc tourists come either way (and deservedly so, it’s my fave capital ever). they are trying very hard to promote rotterdam on the other hand, it ain’t cute but it’s got a great arena

John
Guest

I think Rotterdam makes a lot of sense for this reason – gives them the chance to push tourism in a new direction.

oli
Guest
oli

Please, no. Amsterdam is such a great city! Probably in my top 3 of favourites cities in Europe… please host the contest there!

L.H
Guest
L.H

I love Amsterdam for going out, shopping etc. But Rotterdam is a modern city with so much too see. Markthal, architecture, shoppingmalls, nightlife and a great skyline. I guess tourists/fans will love this sparkling city!
And Ahoy is a great venue. Everything under one roof! In 2020 they open a new part in this venue!

Alex
Guest
Alex

fans will be disappointed if Amsterdam is not selected.

I do get that they want to promote Rotterdam but is their airport big and do they have enough flights? Also, Amsterdam is a lovely city to spend time during ESC… but i do get that they don’t want more tourists… 🙁

Angelina
Guest
Angelina

The Canal Belt people don’t like foreigners if they come to Their neighborhood – winkey

Zack
Guest
Zack

Rotterdam is not that bad of a train ride from the Amsterdam airport (Schiphol). 24-40 minutes depending on which you take. Many rides to and from daily. Amsterdam would be closer but Rotterdam can work if you still wanted to fly into AMS.

Vincent
Guest
Vincent

True but on international scale, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is not that far from Rotterdam. If I look at Google Maps, it’s as far as the city center of London to one the towns outside of the metropolis. Also there is a direct connection by train to Rotterdam Centraal (26min-50min). Rotterdam itself has an international airport too. And there is the Eurostar and Thalys which connects Rotterdam to the UK, Belgium, France and Germany

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

it takes longer to get from milan’s malpensa airport to milan city, than from amsterdam’s airport to rotterdam… so yea

Wendela
Guest

same with Stockholm Arlanda and Stockholm city centre

you do you
Guest
you do you

I want to go where the loose girls are.

Angelina
Guest
Angelina

🙂

you do you
Guest
you do you

To be honest, it’s awful, it’s trafficking . Modern day sl a ver y. How esc end up in a place that glorifies modern day sl ave ry? Anything is better, please, Baku, please.

Angelina
Guest
Angelina

You Azerbedjian Baku was only 10th place I believe.

Freddy
Guest
Freddy

Well just stay home then.

Angelina
Guest
Angelina

Maastricht maybe, or The Hague at the sea.

Angelina
Guest
Angelina

“Please no images of romantic Amsterdam canals,”
So what do we see on the last picture?

Romantic Rotterdam canals…

LOL

Vincent
Guest
Vincent

If you asked me a couple years ago I would’ve said Amsterdam 100%! But after 2010/14 Rotterdam made gigantic leaps in the positive direction. Impressive architectural landmarks were built, such as the new Central Station, De Rotterdam building, Markthal, all new skyscrapers under construction, and city renewals. It transformed from a city where “people didn’t want to be found dead” as they say in Dutch, to a city which has been praised by Tripadvisor, The New York Times, and several global architecture magazines. Not that Amsterdam doesn’t deserve it, it would be fantastic too. But now is the chance to… Read more »

Wendela
Guest

well Copenhagen was smaller than both Malmo 2013 and Vienna 2015. to be honest Ziggo dome is a good option, The arena has a small hall just within the ziggo dome. AFAS live is near located like Hovet Stockholm when globen hosted it in 2016. Maybe that could be the conference center or the Euroclub.

I’m just open to everything!

Zekira
Guest
Zekira

I’m rooting for Rotterdam

Eurovision fan
Guest
Eurovision fan

Absolutely agree. Netherlands is not just Amsterdam and there are also some very beautiful cities. Anyone who went to Netherlands its destination was probably Amsterdam. Rotterdam is also beautiful and very modern city and I hope it will host Eurovision2020 🙂

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

The ziggo dome is a very cool venue. Too bad it’s bidding might be affected by a dispreferance for amsterdam next May.

RoboESC
Guest
RoboESC

Amsterdam and Rotterdam are both fine. I think it’s cute that other cities try to get Eurovision too… but please NL, leave the biggest non sporting event to the big boys.

Dalth
Guest
Dalth

Yeah the days of Harrogate and can’t remember that wee village in Ireland that held it the 90s are long gone. Realistically it has to be held in at least a medium sized city these days, However get why Amsterdam is not overly keen visited a few times and the one thing Amsterdam ain’t short of is tourists. Probably be good for Rotterdam so, went there on day trip once seemed quite cool but it ain’t pretty, so I doubt its overrun with tourists like Amsterdam.