Rotterdam and Maastricht will compete in the coming weeks to become the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. Contest organiser NPO has just announced that these two cities are the only ones left in the race. The other three municipalities who submitted official bids on July 10 — Arnhem, Utrecht and Den Bosch — have officially fallen out of the race.
Rotterdam vs Maastricht
It is not entirely surprising that 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 Amsterdam from the race.
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Rotterdam is prepared to invest a lot of money into the contest. It has the right facilities, infrastructure and arena — the Ahoy Rotterdam. The venue meets all the requirements set by the EBU and also has ample experience with the organisation of large music shows. Excitement and expectation is building in Rotterdam, with the contest even discussed in city council. That discussion involved the local government voting down the “Madonna ban“, allowing the Queen of Pop to perform at the contest, even though she has already shut that idea down.
The Limburg capital, Maastricht, also has a strong bid. They have a sufficient budget and the city meets all of the strict conditions. It is even one step ahead for the EBU because of its pronounced European character. It is not only close to Germany and Belgium but as a result of the Maastricht Treaty (1993), it also boasts an important piece of European history. As a result of this history, rumours suggest that Maastricht is the EBU’s preferred host city.
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The NPO will not publicly discuss why Arnhem, Utrecht and Den Bosch are not hosting the contest next year. It is up to the city councils themselves whether they want to disclose the substantive reasons for their rejection. There were already doubts earlier about the budget of Den Bosch and Utrecht — the cities need around 15 million euros. Utrecht also had a problem with the height of the Jaarbeurs arena.
This decision was made quite quickly. Last Wednesday, all five cities presented their bid books in the NPO building in Hilversum. Now that the “winners” are known, working visits will be made this week to the final two cities and their arenas. In the coming weeks, more working visits will follow — the executive producers of the Eurovision Song Contest want to be able to make an accurate assessment of whether the cities can deliver what the EBU demands.
The NPO hopes to announce the host city in mid-August, as well as the confirmation of the dates of the contest. That city will therefore see its name emblazoned across the new logo of the Eurovision Song Contest, with the logo announced in due course. That will be followed by ticket sales, a semi-final allocation draw and many other events in the lead up to Eurovision in May 2020.
Which city would you like to see host Eurovision 2020? Are you #TeamRotterdam or #TeamMaastricht? Let us know in the comments below.