Nine cities entered the race to host Eurovision 2020 six days ago and now only eight are left.

That’s because Leeuwarden has today withdrawn from the bidding process due to the ceiling height of the proposed venue.

The WTC Expo roof is too low and local government has now determined it can’t be raised in time for Eurovision.

Update:

Hours after Leeuwarden announced they will withdraw due to their venue roof being too low, the city of Maastricht has come forward. Dutch outlet 1Limberg reports that the ceiling of Maastricht’s venue the Maastricht (MECC) is also too low to meet the regulations.

Maastricht’s ceiling is 12 centimeters below the regulations. However, 1Limberg reports the NPO says this is not a problem for Maastricht.

Director of the MECC Rob van de Wiel says, “We would not do this (bid for Eurovision) if we did not meet the requirements. There is no reservation whatsoever.”

Venues must meet a limit of 18 metres. Leeuwarden’s withdrawal has not referenced the exact height of their ceiling.

Speaking to Dutch outlet AD, Deputy Mayor Sjoerd Feitsma says the withdrawal is a “pity”:

“We knew from the start that the height of the WTC Expo could be a bottleneck. But you don’t miss out on the chance to bring a Eurovision Song Contest to your city. That is why we have applied ourselves with full conviction.”

The news is doubly frustrating for Leeuwarden, in light of the fact the city met all the other requirements:

“The height of the room is actually the only requirement that we cannot meet. We were confident that we could continue to manage the organization.”

Even before the Dutch broadcaster sent its’ list of demands for candidate cities, the roof issue had been investigated.

Unfortunately over the weekend it emerged raising the roof in time for the contest will not be realistic.

The NPO responded to the news to thank Leeuwarden for it’s interest:

We as an organization are happy that the cities / regions have responded so enthusiastically,” said a spokesperson for the NPO.

The NPO, together with AVROTROS, NOS and the EBU is responsible for organizing the contest in the Netherlands.

Local government will now investigate whether it can create live viewing areas in the city to broadcast the contest in May 2020.

The withdrawal leaves eight cities in contention to host. They are: Amsterdam, Utrecht, Arnhem, Den Bosch, Maastricht, Breda, The Hague and Rotterdam.

Where do you want Eurovision to be? Do you think more cities will withdraw before an announcement is made? Let us know in the comments below

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[…] Eurovision 2020 in The Netherlands. Since then, the candidates have been dropping out like flies. Leeuwarden bowed out because its venue’s ceiling was not high enough. Breda cited financial reasons for […]

ian
Guest
ian

Eurovision coming to Breda would be like hosting the olympic games in Doncaster

May
Guest
May

Oh noooo, I‘ve always wanted to go to Leeuwarden… Don‘t be stupid and choose Amsterdam already!

Kieran
Guest
Kieran

I honestly want it to go to Arnhem, just so they have that massive stadium like Dusseldorf 2011. But they just need more hotels.

Darren
Guest
Darren

It’s going to be Rotterdam or Amsterdam.
Hoping for Amsterdam but it probably won’t be…

Peter
Guest
Peter

I had a hunch that Leeuwarden might bow out. But the reason why still surprises. The more so since everything else was to requirements.

Kris
Guest
Kris

What is the minimum height requirement?

Peter
Guest
Peter

18 metered, I think the article said.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Sorry. Metres, of course. Blasted spelling correction. :-/

Enter
Guest
Enter

>> William lee adams left the article <<

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

The Hague should also withdraw. They don’t even have a venue.

pepe
Guest
pepe

Things like venues are only minor details in the minds of politicians.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Agreed.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Quite. Which is why their bid is indeed a bit peculiar. Leeuwarden believes one year to be too short to raise the ceiling of the venue they had in mind. But The Hague intends to erect a whole new building on Malieveld.
Over that same period. Entirelyy from scratch. What can possibly go wrong?

Balint
Guest
Balint

The Baku Crystal Hall, which hosted Eurovision 2012, was built between the August of 2011 and the April of 2012. Nothing is impossible.

pepe
Guest
pepe

I doubt that Azerbaijan has the same laws as the Netherlands in which citizens can appeal to almost any decision.

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

I even doubt laws about working hours…

RonnnDJ
Guest
RonnnDJ

Oh, and the MECC director probably mixed up net height and gross height. The net height of MECC is only 12,5 metres…. There is a big difference between how high the rooftop is, and what the height is of the point where you can rig the truss.

Now when we know the minimum height we can also say goodbeye to: Rai Amsterdam, Brabanthallen and Jaarbeurs Utrecht.

Peter
Guest
Peter

I think you have a point, with net height and gross height. But you may be a little premature in your assessment that Amsterdam, Den Bosch, and Utrecht are definitely out now. More likely that all remaining candidate cities are already taking measurements, after the news of Leeuwarden’s withdrawal. Each and every one keen on the big prize, so I imagine they wouldn’t want anything to stand in the way of that. I’m sure more are to disappear from the list, in due time. That’s inherent to competitions like these. So let’s not jump to conclusions just yet, but see… Read more »

RonnnDJ
Guest
RonnnDJ

Just a little correction: I dindn’t state that Amsterdam was out, but Amsterdam Rai. Ziggo Dome Amsterdam is still in the race in my opinion. It’s not only the height off course. Most of the bidding venues are not built for productions like Eurovision. When you look at a picture from the biggest hall of MECC:comment image

I’m highly doubting whether this ceiling can hold the 150 – 200 tonnes of weight. My guess is that it will collapse under that weight.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I like to think that Sjoerd Feitsma turned to his Mayor after reading the height specification and said “it’s bigger than us”.

HarpyDarper
Guest
HarpyDarper

I’ve never been to Leeuwarden but I’ve never really imagined they were a realistic option (not based on evidence), but despite that I feel kinda sorry for them now!
Few quick questions?
-What is the official hight requirement? What was it in Expo TelAviv?
-How tall is their venue, and what kind of options would raising it be (and how expensive)?
-If a small country won (say Cyprus for example) and really wanted to host, but the best venue didn’t meet all the requirements, would the EBU make any exceptions?

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

I think the smaller/less prosperous countries would be offered much more leeway if they couldn’t exactly meet a few specific requirements. The EBU, and local Dutch organizers can afford to be strict because so many venues across various cities already meet the specific requirements.

The EBU would have probably given Tel Aviv leeway because otherwise it might’ve meant Jerusalem would end up hosting.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Yes. Jerusalem political dynamite indeed. Not only in connection with ESC. You certainly have a point there.

Clever1
Guest
Clever1

Expo TLV was 20 meters high: https://eurovision.tv/venue

Peter
Guest
Peter

Good questions, Harpy. Especially that last one very relevant..

Geo
Guest
Geo

All down, two to go. We all know either Amsterdam or Rotterdam will be hosting…

Peter
Guest
Peter

Another ‘Randstad’ centrist. You’re way to premature, mate. Honestly.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Personally I like the Randstad but also the area outside Randstad. Because I’m not originally from NL I don’t feel that unnecessary rivalry and can see both qualities. But it’s just funny when people accuse other people of being Randstad-centrist, while being a fanatic anti-Randstad and pro-everything-outside-Randstad yourself. Because that’s in my eyes the same type of bad. (I’ve seen other post of you where you more bash Randstad than be proud of the area outside). Why not just be neutral and enjoy that there are different qualities in the small country? Rural and Urban in a very small radius… Read more »

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Oh well, too bad. We’ll be in it to win it next time the Netherlands gets to host in 2064 😉

Peter
Guest
Peter

Do make sure, in the meanwhile, that this ceiling issue has been properly addressed. However, there may be no need at all, since mankind will end around 2050, I’ve heard it rumoured…. 🙂

Jake
Guest
Jake

Stupid rules 🙁

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Well why is it stupid, there is probably a safety and technical reason behind the minimum height. As firework is an element often used, the ceiling shouldn’t be too low. Also there needs to be a lot of technical stuff like cameras, lights and cables, all suspended from the actual ceiling.

pepe
Guest
pepe

Don’t forget there will be singers on six meter high poles.

Peter
Guest
Peter

To me, that’s typically the kind of gimmick inserted when quality of the song isn’t really up to scratch. Some people – even music producers – forgetting that less is often more.

Peter
Guest
Peter

The Netherlands have top-heavy bureaucracy in common with eastern neighbour Germany -the latter traditionally known for their ‘Gründlichkeit’ in everything. Yet this usually also means a jungle of often contradictory regulations (•dangerously• contradictory regulations even, sometimes). and myopia/blinkers/petty tyranny at the executive end and/orthe fourth estate. Health & Safety rules, however, are in existence for good reasons, in any civilised country, so I wouldn’t class those necessarily as ‘stupid’.