We’re moving into the next stage in the bidding process for choosing the host city for Eurovision 2020. The first phase of the bidding process closed the 6th of June. That was the date all interested cities had to raise their hands and let it be known they wanted to bid. Now NOS (part of the group of 3 broadcasters hosting the song contest), has officially revealed which cities are in the running. These cities received the official bidding book on the 12th of June. It lays out the criteria around which the cities must build their bids.

The cities have four weeks to organise their bidbooks and to hand them over to the EBU. The deadline is the 10th of July. Despite earlier reports, other cities that aren’t currently in the running yet can still apply. They just have to express an interest and submit their bids by the July 10th deadline.

The following cities are currently in the running.

Amsterdam

Right after the 2019 final Amsterdam seemed like logical choice, seeing it’s the capital of the Netherlands and its most well-known city. But mayor Femke Halsema has said that Amsterdam will not stand in the way of other cities. Some years ago the city reached its maximum capacity for the number of tourists it can welcome. In fact, the city actually launched a program to downsize the numbers of visitors.

Timing isn’t in its favour either. It’s already organizing some other big events in the spring of 2020, including SAIL2020 (the largest nautical event in Europe) and several football games as part of the European Championship. Basically Amsterdam is willing to host Eurovision, but it’s not putting its heart and soul into it. One upside of Amsterdam hosting: WURST has revealed that he is definitely interested in going to Amsterdam for Eurovision. 

Possible venue(s) in Amsterdam: RAI or Ziggodome

Arnhem

Arnhem is enthusiastic about the idea they could host Eurovision. Counsilor Jan Van Dellen is currently leading the bidding process for the city, overseeing marketing among other things. They announced their bid on the city’s official web site. The city sees it as a perfect opportunity to show the world what the city has to offer. Arnhem also sees it as a way of commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem — a major battle fought in and around the city, and the neighbouring areas of Driel, Oosterbeek and Wolfheze. Mayor Ahmed Marcouch has said inviting Europe to the city in 2020 would be significant and symbolic. Arnhem is not working on the bid alone. It’s a collaboration between major teams and venues responsible for and located in surrounding areas: stadion GelreDome, Citymarketing and the Veluwe Arnhem tourist board. The idea is that villages and cities near Arnhem could support the bid and benefit from it. But even before this idea was fleshed out, the first of these cities — Rheden — pulled out for financial reasons.

Possible venue(s) in Arnhem: stadium GelreDome

Breda

The determination to make this bid a winning game is real in the province of Noord-Brabant. Both the provincial government and various cities are determined to win. Duncan Laurence studied in the city of Tilburg. In order to enlarge their chances, they have decided to join forces and make it a team effort. Den Bosch was put forward as the major candidate and has support of all the cities, especially Tilburg. Relatively late in the process and perhaps a bit unexpected, Breda also stepped in. The cities have communicated they will cooperate and want Eurovision 2020 to come to Noord-Brabant, no matter the city. The city of Breda doesn’t have enough hotel capacity on its own and will work together with other cities in the region. Brabant has already made a promotional clip in English (see below).

Possible venue(s) in Breda: Breepark 

Den Bosch (or ‘s Hertogenbosch)

Den Bosch is in the same province as Breda. It’s also supported by a team effort of different parties in the province of Noord-Brabant. The city plays the cards of its central location in The Netherlands and the fact their desired venue — the 38,000 square metre Brabanthallen events complex — is known internationally. It hosts various international fairs and music concerts from artists around the globe. The venue’s organizers set the bid in motion and the city and province subsequently gave their blessings. The city is working together with the province of Noord-Brabant and the cities of Breda, Eindhoven, Helmond and Tilburg (its five biggest cities), which are all members of the ‘BrabantStad‘ initiative — which strives to keep the area a hub of innovation and knowledge.  The bid is being led by Brabanthallen director Jeroen Dona.

Possible venue(s): Brabanthallen

Den Haag

The city of Den Haag confirmed their bid relatively late. The city was interested early in the process, but had trouble finding a decent location. In the end two locations remain on their list of venues. One is the ADO football stadium, which will need to have a temporary roof installed, and the other is Malieveld — a large field opposite the main train station which will need a venue built from scratch.

In either case, the city is approaching this rationally. Den Haag would like to organize this and it fits well with their ambitions. But they’ve said they need to have a closer look at the host city expectations. They also add that they haven’t made a final decision yet. Den Haag is the political capital of the Netherlands and is located near the beach. It has a relatively high number of tourists, so it has the hotel infrastructure and facilities on a same level as other potential host cities. The suggestion for Den Haag came from councillor Richard De Mos, who also suggested that the theme, in case Den Haag wins, should be ‘75 years of peace in the city of peace and justice‘. The International Court of Justice is based in Den Haag.

Possible venue(s): ADO football stadium (Cars Jeans stadium) or Malieveld.

Leeuwarden

Leeuwarden entered the host city radar shortly after Duncan Laurence’s win. Deputy mayor Sjoerd Feitsma tweeted that Eurovision would be welcome in his city almost immediately. Mayor Buma supported the idea and is already sure that Eurovision will come to his city. Leeuwarden was European Capital of Culture in 2018 and is looking for another major event to host. Leeuwarden used to be the starting and ending point of the famous Elfstedentocht, a 200-kilometre iceskating tour on natural ice. The last edition was in 1997.

Possible venue(s): WTC EXPO (also mentioned is iceskating facility Thialf)

Maastricht

The city of Maastricht is the only city in the province of Limburg that has joined the bidding process. Their chosen venue is the Maastrichts Expositie en Congres Centrum (MECC). The MECC has already gone on full speed and booked 3000 hotel rooms in the city. MECC-director Rob van de Wiel hopes that having the hotel rooms booked in advance will boost their chances. The provincial governor Theo Bovens has also his support for the bid. This week he was at a networking event in Brussels drumming up support for the bid. And in the coming weeks he’ll be campaigning even more.

Possible venue(s): Maastrichts Expositie en Congres Centrum (MECC)

Rotterdam

Duncan Laurence has said that Rotterdam is his preferred choice. Duncan was born in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam. The city hasn’t wasted any time. On the 24th of May their bidbook was already 80% ready, which rather surprised other cities who hadn’t even started. It was also a tad curious since the official bidding criteria hadn’t even been released yet! The Rotterdam bid is led by the councillor for Education, Culture and Tourism Said Kasmi. The city already has, under the leadership of Kasmi, a steering group for the project. The group consists of the massive venue Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam Partners and Rotterdam Festivals. The steering group has been meeting weekly since Duncan’s victory, showing just how serious the city is taking this. Rotterdam has ample experience hosting major events‚ including the start of the Tour De France, the MTV awards and other events.

Possible venue(s): Rotterdam Ahoy

Utrecht

It was to be expected that Utrecht would join the bidding process. The Jaarbeurs Utrecht exhibition and conference centre is known for hosting big events. Utrecht is seen as something of a silent threat in all this. They haven’t given their bid much publicity, perhaps preferring to finalize their bid in silence. The idea to bid came from the venue. But the mayor of Utrecht, Jan Van Zanen, fully supports it. The director of the Jaarbeurs and has already informed prime minister Rutte about their plans. Rob Beltman, director of marketing at the venue, sees it as a great opportunity for the city and for the region to get Eurovision to Utrecht.

Possible venue(s): Jaarbeurs Utrecht

NPO has also revealed that the organisation (NPO, NOS and AVROTROS) are aiming to announce the host city in August 2019.

What is your favourite city? Do you think NPO should go beyond the capital? Leeuwarden 2020? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Eurovision 2020 news about The Netherlands

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[…] currently have nine cities that are in the running to become the host city of Eurovision 2020. There are, of course, a number of considerations for […]

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

Den Bosch is not a central location in the Netherlands. It’s in the south. It is a central location in the BeNeLux.
Ahoy in Rotterdam is clearly the best place for Eurovision. It’s not too far away from Schiphol airport, the roof is high enough, it can withstand the weight of everything that has to be hanged from the ceiling, there’s enough room for a press centre, there are enough hotel rooms in the area.
Amsterdam is already too busy and too full of tourists.

Monica
Guest
Monica

I really think Maastricht is the dark horse that everyone overlooks! It is very cosmopolitan, it oozes character and it is used to hosting very large international events.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

It’s certainly in the running, although I still think Rotterdam will ultimately prevail.

Zach03
Guest
Zach03

Wow this is a record breaking number!!
2011: 8 Cities applied
2012: 1 City applied
2013: 3 Cities applied
2014: 5 Cities applied
2015: 6 Cities applied
2016: 6 Cities applied
2017: 6 Cities applied
2018: 5 Cities applied
2019: 4 Cities applied
2020: 9 Cities applies

Geo
Guest
Geo

These bidding cities are useless. In the end we all know a big city like Amsterdam or Rotterdam will host…

Rinora
Guest
Rinora

Nah Düssedorf was a underdog that took eurovisionto their city in 2011!

Spence
Guest
Spence

Rotterdam will get it but I want it to be in Amsterdam

Zach03
Guest
Zach03

same

RonnnDJ
Guest
RonnnDJ

Many of the bidding venues are not suitable for hosting Eurovision. Most of them are either to small, to low or have a ceiling that is not capable of holding the 150 – 200 tons of truss, light and PA equipment. Just do the math and figure out that there are only 3 venues left that meet the requirements of holding Eurovision. All other venues will probably collapse under the weight of rigging only 25 percent of the required equipment. It’s as simple as it can get. Without a venue there will be no Eurovision. All other arguments do not… Read more »

Eurovision fan
Guest
Eurovision fan

We all know it’ll be either Rotterdam or Amsterdam.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Mecc maastricht is also still a viable option.

RonnnDJ
Guest
RonnnDJ

I don’t think so, based on the things we know about previous editions. All the arena’s from the last seven editons had a minimum height of 17 metres. Unfortunately EBU doesn’t publish the official requirements but over the years we’ve obtained a lot of information to make an educated guess about the requirements. Already in 2014 (for ESC 2015) the minimum height of the venue, required by ORF and EBU, was 15 metres. MECC ‘s biggest hall has a height of only 12,5 metres. For your imaging, the dimensions of the led screen that was used in Tel Aviv is… Read more »

w22n
Guest
w22n

This is becoming ridiculous. Just choose already, don’t give people false hopes.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

But the problem is, they can’t choose atm. Even if it would be a race only between Amsterdam or Rotterdam, they still need to know all requirements, and the bidding cities still need to make a research and thorough plan how it will organise it. They need to have infrastructure (higher frequency of public transport?), can they create enough parking spots at that time?, can they create enough safety and arrange enough (how many?) police officers who arrange traffic and crowds? Also which is very important, can they plan Eurovision in-between all other events in the venues? (Since those are… Read more »

Liam Lindsay
Guest
Liam Lindsay

It will NOT be Amsterdam, its either Utrecht, Rotterdam, Arnhem, and The Hague.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

They’re really excited! Nine cities bidding is a huge number, actually.

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

Make Rotterdam happen and my year will be a party!

Jake
Guest
Jake

Nice to see such a small country with NINE bidding cities. They seem so passionate about it!

Peter
Guest
Peter

In The Hague, I mean.

Peter
Guest
Peter

I’m hoping that either Den Bosch or Maastricht are qualifying for hosting ESC. Not especially interested in ESC in and by itself, personally, but it can’t be denied that it’s a prestigious event. What I especially like about the Brabant bid is that it unites three cities under the same banner. Two of which have been organisers of major international jazz festivals, since 1979. And one of these also hosted the Tour de France, not long ago. Besides, the third largest venue in the Netherlands can hardly be overlooked. All that has my sincere sympathy. But Maastricht seems another worthy… Read more »

Stephanie
Guest

Den Bosch is a great city, I visited as a teenager and my mom has relatives there so if I went to attend the contest next spring I could save on accommodations and stay with them – it’s about a 1-hour train ride to the city center from Schiphol (Utrecht is on the same route). Utrecht is an interesting choice, they hosted the start of the 2015 Tour de France and will be hosting the start of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Den Bosch and Breda are also stage hosts) in the summer. I’m just so impressed at how Duncan’s… Read more »

Eurovision fan
Guest
Eurovision fan

I hope it will be Rotterdam. It looks more ‘fresh’ compared to Amsterdam

Peter
Guest
Peter

Nah. I think there’s already too much onus, culturally, on Netherlands’ urban West (Randstad). Even though it won’t ever come even remotely close to London’s, Paris’s, or Vienna’s clout. Still, the mayor of Amsterdam has a point, I think. And what applies to Amsterdam may also apply to Rotterdam, The Hague and perhaps, Utrecht. So what I would cheer wholeheartedly is deviation from the bleeding obvious: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or The Hague. Since in defiance of what hard-boiled Randstad-centrics allege (see further down), awarding the honour to one of the other ten provinces would be, in my eyes at least, a… Read more »

Dylan Lewis-Creser
Guest

I’m for Rotterdam!

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

If Breda were to be selected (fat chance though it may be, because R’dam is the front-runner), would Tiësto be tempted to sign up for this competition in his backyard; or at least, sign up to be an interim act during the show?

[By the way, many of us old-schoolers think the old Tiësto put on a much better show; and methinks he wouldn’t dare further crap his reputation here, after watching what happened to Darude.]

Rouvas S.
Guest
Rouvas S.

It can be hosted anywhere really, so long beloved Dutch icon Paul de Leeuw gets to host it. (Seriously, the guy is huge in The Netherlands and everyone loves him – I don’t know why he hasn’t been mentioned in one of your articles yet. LGBTQ icon on top of that!)

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

I think mostly because his English isn’t that good. I do think he is naturally funny, as in he can spontaneously come up with jokes but be serious when necessary. But the language barrier is mostly the problem.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Maybe Beatrix could be persuaded? Her English truly cut-glass!! 🙂

Marijn
Guest
Marijn

“Everyone loves him” I certainly don’t, speak for yourself please.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Same here. I admire PdL as ambassador for gay rights. Simultaneously, I find his “humour” rather crude. And oh, another thing: personally, I can’t stand “lyrical” tenors….

Peter
Guest
Peter

Small correction: “for” should be read as “of”.

HarpyDarper
Guest
HarpyDarper

I expect he will have a job in some capacity, I could picture Terry Wogan spinning in his grave!
I’m not against him, but I could imagine some UK tabloids dredging up a Lee Rugby joke from one of his shows a few years ago (not that that would affect anything)

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Den Bosch is the birth city of one of the weirdest artist I ever studied (Hyeronimus Bosch). Postcards based on his work would be so weird, in a cool way tho.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Nikki, have you seen the major Bosch exhibition, a couple of years ago? The last general overview before that
in 1965. . My parents took me, as a wee little boy, but it didn’t leave lasting memories, sadly….

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

I’ve been to this museum in the city center of Den Bosch. Its exhibition is fully dedicated to Jeromimus Bosch, and really worth to visit. His artworks are quite impressive

Stephanie
Guest

Nordbrabants Museum? There was a Van Gogh exhibit there when I visited in the summer of 1998

Alex
Guest
Alex

I just hope Amsterdam or Rotterdam will host ESC 2020. I root for both cities!

hi guys
Guest
hi guys

It needs to be in Amsterdam. Keeping it real. Im not gonna spend my two weeks with farmers in a secondary city. Lets keep it real

generation
Guest
generation

We must spend time with people that eat their animals, after they sing to them. Go vegan.

Deniz NL
Guest
Deniz NL

Yes sure, cause the other 16.5 million people that don’t live in Amsterdam are farmers.

Peter
Guest
Peter

What that guy really aimed for was ‘peasant’, I suppose. That’s several grades below ‘ farmer’. But just a notch up from ‘serf’. The latter probably what he has genuinely been after.

However, his level of English may not reach that deep…

Peter
Guest
Peter

Whoa, hold your horses, mate. That’s seriously offensive!!!

generation
Guest
generation

“WURST has revealed that he is definitely interested in going to Amsterdam”

This is like a mosquito that won’t go away.

generation
Guest
generation

Decent LGBT doesn’t want WURST anymore.
comment image

Peter
Guest
Peter

Is that clip, above, from Peter Jackson’s ‘King Kong’? Or from the other, somewhat earlier version?

James
Guest
James

For those curious about Den Haag. Its international English name is The Hague and, much like Amsterdam, have previously hosted the contest before, in 1976 following The Netherlands’ win the year before.

generation
Guest
generation

1976 is not 2020. Different criteria.

James
Guest
James

I only cited a fun fact. 🙂

Peter
Guest
Peter

So did I… 🙂

Peter
Guest
Peter

…. in a post that has mysteriously disappeared….

Peter
Guest
Peter

But it has surfaced again under Daphne’s post.

TimetoReact
Guest
TimetoReact

Den Haag/The Hague, as third largest city and political capital, has more than enough hotel capacity! Infrastructure is more than decent to host the ESC 2020. The statements in this article are false regarding these two topics.

HarpyDarper
Guest
HarpyDarper

I used to live in the Hague, and I’m very fond od the city. I’m sure it has a lot of things in place (Scheveningen has many hotels), just not a venue. There’s no indoor arena and I’m not sure a tent would cut it. But then the MTV Europe awards were held in a tend in 2003 and 04!!

I’d be happy for Rotterdam, as it’s time to expose other parts of the country- i love how most of the other bids are a bit unrealistic, but so enthusiastic!!

TimetoReact
Guest
TimetoReact

The Cars Jeans Stadium is constructed in a way so in the future, when necessary, an extra ring (maximum capacity of 30,000 people) and/or roof can be build easily.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Is this stadium also in The Hague? TtR referred to The Hague earlier, I think, but a little unclear to me is if he/she does so now as well.

TimetoReact
Guest
TimetoReact

Cars Jeans Stadium is the current name of the ADO Stadium in The Hague.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Which ones, Harpy, would you consider ‘unrealistic’, I’m curious to know?

HarpyDarper
Guest
HarpyDarper

Utrecht and Arnhem I think are doable (if the latter can move out it’s football team), Amsterdam is easy but too busy (and maybe too obvious) and I think Rotterdam is the best choice, the others maybe not. But I’m very fond of the country and its people, so I’m happy to be proven wrong!
What’s your take?

Peter
Guest
Peter

I’m going for either the Brabant triumvirate bid (Den Bosch, Breda, Tilburg) or Maastricht, as explained in an earlier post. I’m not that sure about Leeuwarden’s and Arnhem’s suitability, though. That said, though, I’ve been to Leeuwarden just once. But – no offense intended, good citizens of Liewert – it hasn’t left much of an impression. My doubts, though, mainly in connection with geographical location: uppermost North mainly associated with (relative) isolation, I would think, whereas downmost South (Maastricht) still has Belgium and Germany as backyard. As to Arnhem: cute, and in a prime location, that’s for sure. But I’m… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

You could also have added that future English Restoration King Charles II spent part of his exile there, as a youth,, during the Cromwell dictatorship .

Peter
Guest
Peter

The above comment was originally intended in response to James, who extolled the virtues of The Hague. I’d like to assure him that this was not in mockery of his opinion. Just simply to add another ‘fun fact’.

Joris
Guest

Rotterdam is the ideal, Amsterdam is the obvious. Hope it’s either one of those cities!

Peter
Guest
Peter

Amsterdam being “the obvious” is whopping cliché trampled to death again and again and again and again. It’s massively overrated, overdone and overcrowded enough •as is•.. At every time of the year you like, as a matter of fact. And therefore Amsterdam is not by any stretch a good idea

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Please be ROTTERDAM 2020!!! It has all of the facilities needed to host Eurovision, an airport, good links to the rest of The Netherlands and Europe as a whole by train and Amsterdam is already overcrowded. It doesn’t always need to go to the capital city.