Rotterdam 2020

Zwolle out, North Brabant prepare collective bid to host Eurovision 2020

Remember the years where you really only had one city to host the Eurovision Song Contest in? That will certainly not happen in 2020. By now, ten cities have applied to host the most beloved competition in Europe. At the same time, Zwolle has decided to drop out of the race before it’s even started.

Zwolle: “We were already 6-0 down”

Toni Denneboom, who’s in charge of events at the IJsselhallen in Zwolle confirmed that his venue would drop out of the race. He told newspaper De Stentor that the accomodation does not comply to the standards set by the European Broadcasting Union. Currently, IJsselhallen can host a maximum of 7,000 people and will struggle to provide other necessary facilities.

Denneboom compared hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in Zwolle to hosting the UEFA Champions League Final in their stadium. He adds:

Realistically, this is not the venue to host the Eurovision Song Contest. We’re no Ahoy Rotterdam or Ziggo Dome. Especially when it comes to acoustics. We were already 6-0 down when we start.

Toni Denneboom to De Stentor

North Brabant’s bid

On our first article about the potential venues for the Eurovision Song Contest, we mentioned that the province of North Brabant in the south of the country wanted to bring the contest to their region.

Soon after that statement, Brabanthallen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch said they were eager to host the contest there. Jeroen Dona, CEO of Libéma, who own the venue, confirmed their interest at the time. Interestingly, Libéma also own the venue in Zwolle which has now withdrawn. Now, the Mayor of ‘s-Hertogenbosch Jack Mikkers has responded as well. He wants a collective bid from the region, stating:

Eventually, we’re going to need a bid book for one location in North Brabant. All local parties need to stand behind the one bid. We will take a look at the initiatives from the region and the conditions set by Avrotros/NPO to collectively decide which bid stands the biggest chance.

Mayor Jack Mikkers of Den Bosch

Breda’s Breepark

The Breepark in Breda is one of the other options in North Brabant. Located on the edge of the city, Breepark is a large terrain with an event hall to host conferences and concerts. The venue can host up to 13,000 people and is therefore big enough to host the show.

Muncipal Councillor Daan Quaars of Breda has said the Breepark is just an idea. He agrees with Mikkers that the entire region needs to come up with one bid to submit to Avrotros/NPO. Talks to submit such a bid happen in the so-called “B5 group”, where the five largest cities in North Brabant discuss regional matters. Those cities are ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Breda, Eindhoven, Tilburg and Helmond.

Of those five cities, Tilburg have ruled out bidding to host the Eurovision Song Contest. They do not have any suitable venues. The same goes for Helmond. ESCXTRA.com have reached out to Eindhoven to see if they are considering a bid.

Ten cities now preparing bids

Avrotros/NPO have confirmed that the official bidding process will start in June. In the next weeks, the Dutch broadcaster will specify the conditions for potential venues. Those who are interested can then submit a bid book in order to convince the broadcaster to choose their venue as the home of Eurovision for 2020.

Venues need to be available six weeks prior to the contest. As we wrote a few days ago, 16th or 23rd May are the most likely dates for the contest to take place. This would mean venues would need to be available from early April onwards. The Duncan Laurence concert at Ziggo Dome should therefore not be an issue in case the Amsterdam venue is the preferred choice. Politicians have however been pushing to move tourism to other sides of the country and not just Amsterdam. This policy has been in place for several years, making the Amsterdam bit slightly questionable, despite its facilities.

Full list of venues

Besides Breda, the latest addition to the list is Enschede. The city is located in the east of the country. Their venue would be Hangar 11 of the local airport, Twente. It means we now have a total of ten cities bidding, although only one of Breda and ‘s-Hertogenbosch will actually bid. Below you can see a list of venues and their capacities:

LocationVenueCapacity
AmsterdamAmsterdam RAI Convention & Exhibition Centre12.900
AmsterdamZiggo Dome17.000
AmsterdamJohan Cruijff Arena± 60.000
RotterdamAhoy Rotterdam15.818
ArnhemGelreDome41.000
UtrechtJaarbeurs11.000
MaastrichtMECC Maastricht – Noordhal20.000
Province North BrabantBrabanthallen ‘s-Hertogenbosch11.000
Province North BrabantBreepark Breda13.000
The HagueCars Jeans Stadion15.000
The HagueMalieveld (depending on a tent)15.000
LeeuwardenWTC Expo – Friezenhal10.000
EnschedeAirport Twente11.000

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