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, 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!
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