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.
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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.
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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!