Five cities formally submitted their bids to Dutch broadcaster NPO last week, confirming their interest in hosting Eurovision 2020 — the first song contest on Dutch soil since 1980. Maastricht, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Arnhem and ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) all want to host. But according to one of the Netherlands’ top newspapers, Algemeen Dagblad, better known as AD, NPO has pretty much kicked three of the bids to the curb.

The newspaper reports that two bids stood out as the front-runners. They’re reportedly, allegedly, supposedly not known. But nodding to infrastructure, political will and rumours, we’ll go out on a limb and say deliberations are down to Maastricht and Rotterdam (pictured above).

As we reported last week, the organizing committee have said that they will pay working visits only to those cities that “have what is needed” to host. The winner will be announced in the middle of August.

According to reports, no one has been formally told they’ve been axed. A spokesperson for Utrecht said that they have not received an official elimination notice or request for a visit. Meanwhile, the Mayor of Arnhem, Ahmed Marcouch, says he has no knowledge of his city’s status in the race, saying that “NPO still keeps that a secret”. Last week AD reported that NPO will tell eliminated cities their fate by the end of July.

Interestingly, Maastricht, despite earlier reports of being the EBU’s alleged favorite, has not received any confirmation for a working meeting yet either.

However, Rob van de Wiel, the director of the city’s proposed venue MECC, has recently allayed fears about the hall being too low to host, saying the height of 17.88 meters would not be a problem for the organizing committee. The one city that is confirmed to have received a request for a visit is the other alleged front-runner Rotterdam. It’s said to be scheduled for next week.

These visits are all about highlighting how the cities meet the criteria set out by the EBU.

As executive producer Sietse Bakker said last week, the host city will “produce perhaps the most complex TV show in the world.” He stressed the importance of having “a location where you have the space to do that” and also infrastructure around the city. ”

Do you have the hotel rooms and can you handle the logistics so that not only the visitors but also all kinds of other people can stay in the city center?”

What do you think? Who are the two front-runners? Which is your favorite to host next year’s Eurovision? Let us know in the comments below!

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[…] Rotterdam and Maastricht are left in a two-way fight to host. The rumours and speculation regarding their status as the frontrunners have been around for some time. That status was cemented by the withdrawal of capital city […]

Loin dici
Guest

Girl. It’s happening.

EBU, no
Guest
EBU, no

I’m gonna get so mad if Maastricht wins, If they win EBU shows how amateur Eurovision becomes………..

Rotterdam 2020
Guest
Rotterdam 2020

I’m sorry Maastricht but this venue is boring af, looks like a distributional centre…
http://www.observantonline.nl//Portals/0/Artikelen/Images/fototoetsRandwijckvoorpaginarechts.jpg

Ana
Guest
Ana

Come take a look how the 2014 venue looked like before they built the stage and the tribunes in there.
comment image

It doesn’t matter at all how the venue looks when empty and with the lights on. The actual problem of this venue is the low ceiling, and I don’t see how they can even try to work with that. I’m surprised it’s not ruled out by that point.

Ina
Guest
Ina

No it doesn’t need to look all shiny and huge but in the end it could rule out like it did in 2017 and it loooked the cheapest in recent years.. Copenhagen did put in much more money… But the Dutch budget is even lower than Kyiv and Tel Aviv so it won’t look expensive like Copenhagen.

Loin dici
Guest

On the other hand, Copenhagen has the second most loss due to the preparations of the venue and that unimportance of water in the stage. Tel Aviv’s aesthetics looked as if we’re back to Düsseldorf 2011 and the show had too much problems behind its organization. Stockholm can make twice-half out of its budget and fans deemed it one of the best Eurovision seen (aside of the figgin heavy Swedish influence ofc). Sometimes bigger expense doesn’t mean a better show — you just need to know how to use it well.

Adrian Malihinov
Guest
Adrian Malihinov

Advice: Let a Dutch designer design the Eurovision stage of 2020! It will be more personalized and epic.

Loin dici
Guest

BigVis! Their designs are cool!

Oreo
Guest
Oreo

Yes how Cool! Hope NPO, NOS & avrotros will call them!

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

What are the bookies saying about the odds on who will host next year?

Chris
Guest
Chris

If Maastricht wins, the host city youtube video will be the most disliked in recent years

Sonny Clarks
Guest
Sonny Clarks

nah jamala’s 1944 performance in 2016 will always be the most disliked!

Claudia
Guest
Claudia

I hope they talk about Maastricht only to promote it, but if chosen, only Belgium and Germany will benefit, The Netherlands will have only the responsibilities of organizing the show.

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

If they pick Maastricht over Rotterdam, they’re crazy. Rotterdam Ahoy is clearly the best location for Eurovision.

Marko
Guest
Marko

No. In Maastricht everything is concentrated in 1-2 km2, in Rotterdam they had to block hotels outside the city to reach the 3000 Rooms. Apart from that: Rotterdam is not so friendly to foreigners as they think. Rotterdam puts thecity first, Maastricht has the event in mind and not the money or the city.

Loin dici
Guest

But, the venue, though.

Wieke Boiten
Guest
Wieke Boiten

i want to at that Maastricht has a lot of experience with hosting events of this size, there is yearly concert streak in the middle of july which is bigger than eurovision.

James
Guest
James

*Cue ANTM theme music*
Na na na na na.

This all feels like a reality show seeing who will end up winning.

Kirby
Guest
Kirby

NPO/EBU: We have two beautiful cities standing before us, but we have only one photo in our hands, …

James
Guest
James

We have one city that has got it all: The infrastructure, the hotel accomodations, the venue, and the brand. But is it enough to convince the judge that you are the one? Then we have this other city. What it lacked in infrastructure, but it makes up for everything else. Not a lot of people go to it, which makes it all the more attractive a city to go to. The judges are worried that this one hindrance will make the difference between being a runner-up, and being a winner. The judges have decided. Eurovision’s Next Top Host City is…..… Read more »

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

What does ANTM stand for?

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

America’s next topmodel

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

America’s Next Top Model

Manuel Treill
Guest
Manuel Treill

Actually, I kinda hope we’re going to Arnhem instead xD (and NO I don’t live in the Netherlands and therefore I’m nowhere close to any of these cities but seriously? Their arena seems massive)

Ana
Guest
Ana

Anyone knows any technical aspects of the Maastricht venue? From what I saw this exhibition center does have huge halls but the ceiling in them is 12m. This is way below the 15m minimum that the EBU requires. What am I missing?

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

https://www.mecc.nl/images/pdf-bestanden/venue/MECC%20CORP%20brochure%20facts&figures%202016.pdf
Page 14. Two of the halls have a gross height of 17.5 meters, but a net height of only 12.5 meters. You would think the net height has to be at least 15 meters too, but apparently not?

Ana
Guest
Ana

12.5 net is too low then. In Tel aviv the net was about 17.5 m and people won’t stop complaining how low it is. When the EBU asks for 15m I guess they mean that the rig will be hang at that height. Those halls won’t work, and even if the EBU will approve them, that will look shitty on tv with such a low ceiling. Just think that the video wall alone in Tel Aviv was 13m tall.

Marko
Guest
Marko

Before the Bidbook was produced, the MECC checked the height of the halls with NPO and they approved, wanted Maastricht to be a candidate city.

Ana
Guest
Ana

They won’t host then. I don’t see why to go into those low ceiling halls when you got a venue like AHOY. Doesn’t make any sense.

Robbert
Guest
Robbert

Well first: AD ist NOT a top newspapier in the Netherlands. It has a tabloid level, trying to sell as many copies as possible and not always verifying their sources. The truth is that the organizing comittee will bring back the number of candidates back from 5 to 2 indeed from next week on, but no name has been mentioned, and the comittee is still studying the bidbooks.

Joe
Guest
Joe

AD is basically Aftonbladet but Dutch

Marko
Guest
Marko

And IF the first two cities will loose, NPO continues with the thirdor fourth city. That is what the Pressrelease from NPO wanted to point out last friday.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Just why Maastricht and not Arnhem? I see nothing wrong with Arnhem.

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

There were a lot of technical problems in 2011 and Eurovision was in a stadium back then, so maybe they fear that will happen again if they hold it another stadium.

FYROM
Guest
FYROM

There has been more technical problems most years since 2015 than in 2011 so thats a bad argument

Boohoo
Guest

Wasn’t Oslo also in a stadium?

Lisianthus
Guest
Lisianthus

The arena in Dusseldörf is much bigger. It can fit more than two times as many people as the arena in Oslo.

Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Maastricht is a beautiful historic city with lots of charm indeed, but that’s what the postcards are for – to show the beauty and uniqueness of such places as Maastricht, Den Bosch or Amsterdam. Eurovision is 8 hours long in total – I’m sure there’ll be plenty of time decicated to the touristic promotion, yet when it comes to hosting I choose Rotterdam – multicultural city with a fantastic, modern venue, large hotel base, great experience, rich nightlife and cool vibe – right what the ESC host city should be.

Wieke Boiten
Guest
Wieke Boiten

all the points you point out maastricht has, Rotterdam on the other side doesnt have enough hotel rooms

Loin dici
Guest

You sure, Wieke? Even the CityHub?

Tomás davitt
Guest
Tomás davitt

I have to be honest – If this whole Maastricht thing is actually a publicity stunt, it’s worked. Because I would never have considered visiting there before but now I totally would.

I’d still prefer Rotterdam because it is located closer to Amsterdam.

Lol
Guest

And also it has a way better venue, the most important thing

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

I was thinking about this too. It doesn’t matter if Maastricht’s candidacy is a serious attempt, a passionate dream or a publicity stunt, it surely boosts the name of the city as a touristic destination. As long they’re not wasting too much money on it, it will be worthy enough, even if Eurovision heads to Rotterdam, which seems to be the logical choice.

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

Maastricht absolutely does not deserve to be a front runner. It should be Rotterdam.

MVE
Guest

It snould be Rotterdam vs Arnhem

Lol
Guest

I don’t think it even is a front runner it’s Just self made hype

Zekira
Guest
Zekira

Den Bosch, Utrecht and Maastricht are out, Arnhem and Rotterdam come through

Eurovision fan
Guest
Eurovision fan

I’m sure Rotterdam will be among two cities competing to host Eurovision, but I’ll be really disappointed if Arnhem gets rejected. Arnhem which offers definetly the biggest host venue to be out beside Maastricht which offers congressional center which doesn’t have one big hall but many other isolated halls with low ceiling and which is more than 210km away from capital? I’m sorry I’m picking Rotterdam and Arnhem for final race

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Sietse Bakker said last week, the host city will “produce perhaps the most complex TV show in the world.”
My heart sunk when I read that. Because I was hoping he can make it a simpler affair. That’s what the contest needs.

Loin dici
Guest

But, it IS complex. Thousands of crews, approx. 400 people from 40 delegation, approx. 200 juries per year, ten thousands of viewers at arena, millions of eyes from the TV, elaborate voting system, elaborate teamwork, 40-second postcards and 40-second stage cleanup + preparation, stage construction with venue consideration, sound and acoustic check, rehearsals after rehearsals for not only acts but also cameramen and lighting people, and even the national selections are also complex at nature. Mr. Bakker do know.

ADd
Guest
ADd

What is the point with the run-around? It’s obvious what city will host.

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

It looks pointless, but there is a reason. They will have a quick look at the bidbook and then say, oh well this venue is too low and the capacity is too low, so only two cities left. Then they need to explain to those cities’ delegations first why, and then they also need to visit the possible venues, to check whether all info in the bidbooks was true. This will take a while.

Spacemonitor
Guest
Spacemonitor

For so many people it was obvious for Amsterdam to host and here we are few weeks later..
I strongly believe since the beginning it’s going to be Rotterdam but I like the game to be open and to consider all options.

frysk
Guest
frysk

I would love to see provincial cities like Maastricht or Den Bosch having te show, so People finally learrn that Holland is just a province of the Netherlands. That our country should NEVER be called Holland again… but, I have to be realistic. Rotterdam is a big city where the whole LGBTQ-communitiy would feel better at ease. The winning of the contast should not become a shared party between the Netherlands, Belgium (Liège) and Germany (Aachen) either.

Eurovision fan
Guest
Eurovision fan

Agree that Rotterdam is nice city, but esc is not just lgbt community

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

I’m sorry to announce that, but The Netherlands in Hebrew is Holland xD
So at least here, in Israel, it will always be called Holland

KESC
Guest
KESC

In Turkish as well, lol :D. We also say “Hollanda”.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Same thing here in Brazil, we call it “Holanda”. If you say “Países Baixos”, there’s a big chance you’ll be mocked (also because “low lands” reminds of “low parts”). Don’t know if the same happens in Portugal though. But if I lived in the Netherlands (especially out of the proper Holland) this would bother me too.

Boohoo
Guest

Eurovision is not a LGBT charity but Rotterdam should defo host

KESC
Guest
KESC

It’s really sad to see how people try to turn Eurovision into a LGBT party event. I have nothing against LGBT people, but sometimes it just disturbs. Btw, the Netherlands is a pro LGBT country anyway, so it wouldn’t make that much difference to host it in one city rather than in another one.

esc26
Guest
esc26

Exactly. Lynda Woodruff was right with that “It’s time to make Eurovision Straight Again!” thing. I too have nothing against LGBT people and it’s great that the ESC community accepts everyone no matter the orientation, but the contest is viewed by straight people too and some people and countries seem to forget it.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Lynda Woodruff is a fictional comic idiot.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Why is it sad? How does it exclude heterosexual people in any way?

Jonrobertt
Guest

Makes a huge difference. I live in Maastricht. Welcome to older and more conservative demographic base. Oh plus 20,000 international students (15,000 being from Germany haha). Times are slowly changing, for example there is a rainbow colored crosswalk at the Vrijthof and the cultural freezones of Mandril and Landbouwbelang amazingly still exist. Mandril was told to close in Nov 2019 and Landbouw will be put to public tendor in 2 years aka gentrification. So technically this isnt so good for the Alt /LGBTQ+ community but at least the rainbow sidewalk is planned to stay.the

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

Eurovision is not an exclusively LGBT event. They shouldn’t be catering to any group of people more than any others, just because LGBT people tend to enjoy Eurovision. Countries like Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, etc. have won and hosted the contest and LGBT people still went, in addition to whatever other people wanted to go; Eurovision is not a pride parade. The Netherlands is also probably one of the most pro-LGBT countries in the world, no city is unsafe or whatever.

BadWoolfGirl
Guest
BadWoolfGirl

I wonder if in some media, a character liking Eurovision is used as coding for them being gay.

Joseph Mendy
Guest
Joseph Mendy

My prediction: Rotterdam will get the hosting gig

MVE
Guest

As it should

Lol
Guest

Everyone predicts that lol. Only people who say Maastricht are the ones living in or near it lol

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Eurovision and Rotterdam
I ship these two.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

And again, how appropriate would it be for the slogan to be “Ahoy There!” or “Ahoy, Europe!” with the show being held at Rotterdam Ahoy?

Vincent
Guest
Vincent

Beautiful aerial picture; I can imagine the orange carpet to be at the waterfront of the Oude Maas river, with a view at the Erasmus bridge and the skyscrapers of the Wilhelmina pier. All artists will arrive by boat or watertaxi. And at night there will be fireworks just like during New Years Eve, and the Erasmus bridge is illuminated red white blue. And then maybe some animations projected on the facade of De Rotterdam building, or the KPN building. It will look glamorous. And cafes and bars in the city center (witte de withstraat, or close to the city… Read more »

Zekira
Guest
Zekira

Please just no orange and blue carpet again. Let it be red as it is

Kris
Guest
Kris

Making it orange in Netherlands would make sense , no idea how Orange and tel aviv relate

MVE
Guest

As a Dutchie I think Maastricht is the worst option out of the 5. It would let Belgium and Germany benefit and the hall is simply not suitable. Besides, just bcs there a European signing or smth doesnt make it more European than a other city.

Rotterdam should host due having the best venue

Bigger
Guest
Bigger

Also when it comes to marketing, don’t forget that “EBU prefers Maastricht” thing. I don’t know where that came from and who was the original source, but it didn’t seem to make sense. It was a news source of the province of Limburg who stated that, and then some national media took it over without any source or evidence. And then I saw comments from people from Limburg or people who generally hate everything which has to do with the “big evil” Randstad (xD) using that article. All and all, this type of marketing did work because it did give… Read more »

Sam Ravanbakhsh
Guest
Sam Ravanbakhsh

I hope it will be Rotterdam

oli
Guest
oli

boring. i can’t believe it’s not amsterdam

Richard Prins
Guest
Richard Prins

the Netherlands is so much more than Amsterdam!

Boohoo
Guest

Have you ever been to one of those 5 cities?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

it’ll be rotterdam bc they have a proper arena, this is just a publicity stunt to promote maastricht

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Not only that; Ahoy can hold the show in its main arena (16,000), the green room in Club Ahoy (6,000) with plenty of room for more spectators watching on makeshift big screens, and the press area in Theater Hall One (4,000) with room for even more spectators. They could easily have 20,000 spectators at Rotterdam Ahoy, with room to spare. What does Maastricht have to compete with that?

Dutchie
Guest
Dutchie

Rotterdam and Maastricht/Arnhem

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

I desperatly want this discussion to be over and I want them to just select Rotterdam. We all know it’s the only realistic option but Maastricht will keep on trying to get it.

Ani
Guest

Rotterdam for sure