The European Broadcasting Union in association with Dutch broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS have now announced that Rotterdam will be hosting Eurovision 2020.
It was earlier revealed that two cities were shortlisted for hosting duties, which were Rotterdam and Maastricht. It was decided that Rotterdam put forward the strongest bid of the two shortlisted cities. The dates of the contest have also been announced, and they will be the 12th, 14th and 16th of May.
Executive Supervisor for Eurovision, Jon Ola Sand commented on the host city choice, saying, ‘Rotterdam has shown fantastic enthusiasm and commitment and has the right facilities to welcome delegations from over 40 countries next May. We look forward to working with Rotterdam and NPO, NOS and AVROTROS on an incredible state-of-the-art Eurovision Song Contest in a great city next year.’
The Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in the Ahoy arena, which was built in 1970. The arena’s design, which took inspiration from Rotterdam’s port and shipping industry, won various national and international awards.
Ahoy has a show venue with congress halls directly next to it, in the same building. The EBU could use these halls not only for a press centre, but also for delegation spaces and rooms for the crew to work. 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. Rotterdam even has its own airport Rotterdam-The Hague, which connects it to several other European countries.
Upon the Netherlands winning Eurovision in 2019, Ahoy cleared their schedules for April and May, emphasising that they were ready and eager to host the competition. It is estimated that the capacity for Eurovision will be around 11,000-12,000. Another key deciding factor between the two shortlisted venues was the height of the venue, of which Ahoy provides a higher roof.
The dates were likely dictated by clashes with the football, either Champions League, Europa League or the German Cup Final, and as such, the 12th, 14th and 16th were the most viable dates. Due to Liberation Day in the Netherlands, it is possible that rehearsals will not take place on the 5th of May.