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.
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.
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.
Arnhem en regio promotie: Voor de liefhebbers: een link naar het nieuwsitem en de videohttps://t.co/YE7no2RFLS
— Jan van Dellen (@DellenJan) June 3, 2019
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
— Jeroen Dona (@Jeroen_Dona) February 21, 2019
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.
Een prachtige prestatie van #Duncan. Heel Nederland leefde mee, ook Den Haag. Nu Nederland heeft gewonnen, kijken we serieus naar de mogelijkheden voor het organiseren van het #Eurovisiesongfestival in 070. Het thema zou dan zijn: 75 jaar vrede in de stad van vrede en recht. pic.twitter.com/ycYapRf9Hi
— Richard de Mos ? (@RicharddeMos) May 18, 2019
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.
A massive well done to @dunclaurence for his excellent performance! ?? @Eurovision @PubliekeOmroep ? We dared to dream, act and be different in Leeuwarden-Friesland in 2018 as well… —> 2020? Welcome! ??? @leeuwardenstad https://t.co/FCjboDteFb pic.twitter.com/09eNUHVIkW
— Sjoerd Feitsma (@SjoerdFeitsma) May 18, 2019
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)
View this post on Instagram
#Campagne om #eurovisiesongfestival 2020 naar #Maastricht te halen is in volle gang! In #Brussel #tshirt #douzepoints uitgereikt aan Z.Ex. @maryemvandenheuvel #Ambassadeur NL ??in België ??en Z.Ex. Robert de Groot, perm. vertegenwoodiger Nl??in #Europa?? Daarna ‘verplicht’ ‘m zelf met ere te dragen tijdens borrel @provincielimburg #Apéro #Limbourgeois #limburg #gouverneur #mannequin @theo_bovens #esc2020 #duncanlaurence #dressboy @mecc_maastricht @1limburg @l1mburg @visitmaastricht #esf2020 @bert.van.slooten
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
We gaan er voor!
Rotterdam maakt vaart met binnenhalen Songfestival: ‘Bidbook al voor 80 procent klaar’https://t.co/P6AHhuJPhl
— Said Kasmi (@SaidKasmiD66) May 24, 2019
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!