Eurovision 2020: Here are the Potential Host Cities!

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After Duncan Laurence won the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 on behalf of The Netherlands, the first steps towards hosting the contest in The Netherlands in 2020 have already been taken. The host city will be announced in August.

Nine cities in The Netherlands have already applied to host the 65th edition of the prestigious contest. The most serious candidates are Amsterdam, the capital, and Rotterdam, the second largest city of the country. In recent years, Tel Aviv and Malmö (Sweden) were the only non-capital cities to host the Eurovision Song Contest.

Since it takes enough accommodation for delegations, crew and press, the hotel capacity of the host cities must be high enough to be able for the EBU to give permission to host the event. Also, the venue must be able to accommodate enough dressing rooms, space for props, technical equipment and about 1400 journalists from all over the globe. Amsterdam and Rotterdam also seem to have the best suitable venues for this.

Eurovision 2020 in Amsterdam

(Update: Amsterdam has now withdrawn their bid)

The capital Amsterdam seems to be a logical option to be the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. It has hosted Junior Eurovision in the ZiggoDome and holds the annual Eurovision in Concert fan event in Afas Live, both located pretty close to each other near the football stadium ArenA.

The city is the largest in the nation and has plenty of hotels to host such a big international event. That being said, the local government (led by the GreenParty) is enforcing a ‘no-tourist’-policy over the last couple of years. And hosting Eurovision is not really in line with this. Tourism agency NBTC also stated that they would rather see Eurovision in Rotterdam than Amsterdam.

Also, the ZiggoDome can perfectly host the actual contest, but does not have the facilities and space for press facilities under the same roof.

The congress hall RAI could be an option, as it can be compared with the situation with the Tel Aviv Expo. But it is not ideal as there are other options in the country.

Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam

The second city of The Netherlands, Rotterdam, arguably has the best venue to offer. At least, the chief of Ahoy says so herself. A group of Event Managers in The Netherlands did some research and also conclude: Rotterdam is the best option.

Ahoy has a hall where the actual show can be held, with congress halls directly next to it, in the same building. The EBU could use these halls not only for a press center, but also for delegation spaces & rooms for the crew to work in. Ahoy has also cleared its entire schedule for the months of April & May, emphasizing they are ready to host Eurovision.

When it comes to working at the contest, for crew and journalists, Ahoy has an ideal package. It also hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and MTV Europe Awards in the past.

The city of Rotterdam, and other big cities directly attached to it, also offer plenty of hotels and accommodations to stay for the delegations and journalists. It is within a 40 minute drive from the main airport Schiphol and even has it’s own airport, which connects Rotterdam to several other European countries.

The city council already called out (in fact, they did so back in 2016) to host the Eurovision Song Contest. They are very eager to do so, and seem to be a very serious candidate to make their mark: Rotterdam 2020.

Other cities bidding to host Eurovision 2020

Apart from Amsterdam and Rotterdam, there are seven cities in The Netherlands that already applied to host the contest and are willing to make a bid book. Some options could be quite serious, while others are not very realistic to those who follow Eurovision for many years and know what it takes.

  • Maastricht, a city in the deep south of The Netherlands, has a congress centre MECC and wants to get the event. It would be a symbolic gesture, because of the The Maastricht Treaty for European integration.
  • The Hague is a relatively large city as well. But The Hague wants to build a roof over their football stadium, in the middle of the football season. Ambitious plans like these are something the EBU has never been too fond of. (Update: The Hague has now withdrawn their bid)
  • Gelredome in Arnhem is also struggling with football obligations – though it must be said that this stadium already has a roof. However, EBU requires that the Eurovision venue is ready at least 6 weeks prior to the competition. During that time, local club Vitesse is still in the middle of its competition.
  • Utrecht is a city right in the middle of the Netherlands. With the Jaarbeurs, it has quite a significant conference center at its disposal which could be a potential Eurovision venue. Utrecht is famous for its huge train station which connects West Netherlands with the rest of the country. However, the city is not very suitable for car traffic.
  • The cities of Leeuwarden (in Fryslan), Breda and Den Bosch also made their interest clear.However, the details of these bids that have come out so far, are not promising. (Update: Leeuwarden and Breda have now withdrawn their bids)

Dates for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020

Due to clashes with football (either Champions League, Europa League or the German cup final on the 23rd of May) it looks like the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 will take place on the 12th, 14th and 16th of May 2020. A week earlier is not an option, because of Memorial Day and Liberation Day on the 4th and 5th of May.

Rehearsals on the 5th of May may also be impossible in The Netherlands. However, we have seen in Israel 2019 that skipping one day of rehearsal and EBU prefers starting on a Saturday over having the final of Eurovision clashing with the German cup final.