Eurovision 2020

UPDATE: Eight cities in the Netherlands offer to host Eurovision 2020

A day after The Netherlands won the Eurovision Song Contest, several cities have already made their desire to host Eurovision 2020 public. At the moment of writing this, no less than seven options seem to be on the table already.

The offers we now have for Eurovision 2020

Below we’ll take a look at each of the offers so far, with the potential venues they are currently offering. Please note that Avrotros have not yet confirmed how the process to determine the host city will take place next year. They will probably announce more details about that in June.


Netta Barzilai was rather convinced last night that we’d be going to Amsterdam next year. However, she also predicted Jerusalem last year…

In all seriousness: Mayor Femke Halsema already confirmed the capital’s interest to host back in April at Eurovision in Concert, where she stated she’d be delighted to welcome Eurovision to her city in 2020. Amsterdam is the city with most tourist experience, but in recent times, politicians have tried to limit traffic to the capital and instead promote other side of the country. Perhaps that’s a disadvantage for Amsterdam, especially now governing party VVD have said Amsterdam isn’t the only option to host.

The city has three potential venues to host the Eurovision Song Contest. The most logical of those is the Ziggo Dome, located in the Bijlmer area. It’s a relatively new venue, as it had its opening in 2012. The capacity is 17,000 people – more than enough for the contest.

Johann Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam
© Bas Czerwinski/ANP

Located right next to the Ziggo Dome is the Johan Cruijff Arena. The home base for football team Ajax Amsterdam is big enough to host it, but potentially way too big: Over 50,000 people. Besides, can Eurovision really make Ajax leave their home for weeks and weeks at the end of the season? It was possible for Fortuna Düsseldorf in 2011, but it’s far less likel for a title challenger like Ajax.

The third venue in Amsterdam is RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre. It would mark fifty years since the contest was held there in 1970. Located on the Zuidas, the venue can hold nearly 13,000 people and is a good option, potentially Amsterdam’s best, in case Ziggo Dome is unavailable.


In case the organisers are looking for a city other than Amsterdam to host, Rotterdam might be their best bet. It’s the second biggest city of the country with nearly 600,000 inhabitants. In recent times, several parties have pushed Rotterdam forward as tourist destination. Hosting a major event such as Eurovision is far from unlikely, therefore.

AHOY in Rotterdam

The city is, together with Amsterdam, the only city with a metro network, as well as other public transport throughout the city. An international airport is located in the north of the city. Muncipal councillor for Culture, Said Kasmi, has spoken out in favour of bringing the contest to Rotterdam, so there seems to be political support from the city itself as well.

Their venue would be Ahoy Rotterdam. For concerts, Ahoy can host nearly 16,000 people. It hosts two nights of the Premier League of Darts every year and took on the job of hosting Junior Eurovision in 2007. There are also other halls in the building, where a Green Room and press venue could be situated. These features could prove much more complicated in the Amsterdam venues, so don’t rule Rotterdam out just yet.


Arnhem is a city located in the east of the Netherlands. The city does not have much of a profile as tourist destination yet, but is trying to build it with the entire region of Veluwe. The city council of Arnhem have confirmed their interest, although the city councillor for Economics and City Marketing, Jan van Dellen, said a thorough investigation needs to take place in terms of facilities and logistics. The tourist board for the Veluwe region said it Arnhem hosting would fit in with the national desire to shift the focus away from Amsterdam.

The city has a football stadium to offer for Eurovision 2020. The Gelredome can host nearly 28,000 people and already has a roof. The homebase of football club Vitesse is not new to concerts, such as the one Helene Fischer gave there recently. The city however hardly has hotel rooms available and would need to rely on Weeze Airport, located an hour away in Germany.

Update, 18:00 CET: Utrecht

In the afternoon of 19 May, a seventh city joined the race to host the contest next year: Utrecht. The most central city of the country has a population of 345,000 and is the economic heart of the Netherlands. No train station is busier than Utrecht Centraal and the accompanying mall, Hoog Catharijne, is hugely popular in the country. Muncipal councillor for Economics Klaas Verschure has confirmed the city’s interest.

Jaarbeurs in Utrecht during a concert
©  Christelijk Nieuws

The venue Utrecht are offering is the Jaarbeurs. It is a multi-hall complex located right next to the central station. The main hall can host up to 11,000 people and has hosted concerts before. Other halls could be used for necessary other purposes, such as the Green Room and press venue. A commute from Schiphol airport to Utrecht Centraal takes about half an hour, but also Eindhoven Airport is easily accessible within ninety minutes.

The Hague, Zwolle or Maastricht

Amsterdam and Rotterdam are the clear frontrunners. However, other bids have come in. The Hague want to host the contest for a third consecutive time in their city. Both 1976 and 1980 were hosted in their Congresgebouw. With that venue however being too small nowadays, councillor Richard de Mos suggested putting a roof over the local football stadium, where ADO Den Haag plays its matches. However, the Invictus Games will take place in the city from 9 to 16 May, making it extremely unlikely that The Hague will be able to take on the job.

MECC in Maastricht
© Evenementenindustrie

Zwolle and Maastricht are both offering smaller venues. The MECC in Maastricht is located near Maastricht-Aachen Airport, but can only host 5,000 people after its renovation. That renovation is due to start next month, so it would be a tough job to get everthing ready for Eurovision 2020, despite the explicit wish of Mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake.

Zwolle have the IJsselhallen, the least likely venue of them all. Concerts hardly ever take place there and the city council has been thinking of taking the building down for years. It originally functioned as cattle market and its capacity is lower than 5,000.

Update, 23:00 CET: Leeuwarden

The eighth city has now joined the race. The capital of Friesland in the north of the country, Leeuwarden, has sent a detailed letter to the NPO. The 2018 European Capital of Culture is representing the entire region, called Fryslân in their own language. Both the Mayor of Leeuwarden, Ferd Crone, and the King’s Commissioner to Fryslân Arno Brok have confirmed this.

The venue in Leeuwarden would be the WTC Expo. Like Zwolle, this was originally a cattle market. Concerts do occasionally take place there, but the bid mostly relies on the cultural identity of Leeuwarden more than the venue itself. The capacity is presumably less than 6,000 people.

Furthermore, the province of Noord-Brabant have stated they’d like to host the contest. No venue or city has yet been decided, though, and a quick glance suggests that won’t be easy either. A possibility could be the Brabanthallen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, which could host up to 10,000 people.

Which city are you hoping to see hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2020? Let us know!

Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

Related Articles

Back to top button