The Hague recently withdrew from the race to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 and threw its support behind Rotterdam — a city that’s less than 30 minutes away by car. According to their logic, having Eurovision in Rotterdam will have a knock-on effect with tourists — and their money – cascading to nearby towns and cities.
And it seems the regional support for the big R isn’t in short supply. Now the province of Zuid-Holland has committed one million euros to support the song contest should Rotterdam seal the deal.
Rotterdam is the largest city in the province and the centre of its business and commercial activity. It’s the largest port in Europe and a major transport hub for bulk materials coming in and out of the continent. Until 2004 it was considered the world’s busiest port (though it’s subsequently been taken over by Singapore and Shanghai).
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Speaking to AD.nl, Rense Weide of the VVD — that’s thePeople’s Party for Freedom and Democracy — explained why he thinks Eurovision could be a boon for the province at large.
“Hundreds of millions of people watch it every year. It’s a golden opportunity to promote Zuid-Holland pearls such as Kinderdijk, Keukenhof, the cheese town Gouda and the royal town of The Hague. [It could be done] in the films that are recorded to introduce the candidates [aka the postcards].”
Hotel prices in the city are said to be climbing already as anticipation builds that Rotterdam will secure the gig.
Will Utrecht withdraw from the race?
Meanwhile, the city of Utretcht, another candidate city, faces a difficult financial landscape.
AD.nl reports that the largest party on the city council — GroenLinks — doesn’t want to cough up the cash to make Eurovision happen. Apparently smaller opposition parties agree with them.
“We have a Spring Memorandum that is tied together with adhesive tape — the money has run out,” Tim Schipper, a member of the SP, tells them. He says they city needs millions for other restoration projects. “I don’t feel like securing an unknown amount for this party.”