Rotterdam 2020

Amsterdam next city to withdraw from 2020 Eurovision hosting race

No venue available in the capital

Amsterdam will not host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020. The capital of the Netherlands cannot submit a suitable venue for the event. Mayor Femke Halsema announced the city’s official withdrawal this afternoon.

Previous engagements

Main reason for the announcement is the fact that no venue is available to host the event. The city had three potential venues, but none of them is available for the full six to eight weeks. Ziggo Dome, RAI Convention Centre and Johan Cruijff ArenA all have previous engagements they can’t move. For the ArenA, this will have come down to the home matches for Ajax, the local football team. The problems for the other two venues have not been published, but we’ll find out in due course when they publish their agendas for 2020.

After the main three options pulled out, Halsema investigated what other options might be there to bring the contest to the capital. The AFAS Live, the venue where Eurovision in Concert takes place, is too small for an event like the Eurovision Song Contest. A tent to make the contest a festival was also not a feasible idea, leading mayor Halsema to withdraw her city from the race, as she said:

After working on this concept [of a tent], it all seems way too complex to be true alternative for the Ziggo Dome. Amsterdam would like to wish good luck to Rotterdam, Den Bosch, Utrecht, Arnhem and Maastricht with forming their bid books.

Mayor Halsema

Dropping like flies

In these past few days, potential host cities have been dropping like flies. Leeuwarden, The Hague and Breda already officially withdrew their candidacies to host the Eurovision Song Contest next year. For Leeuwarden and The Hague, the venue was the problem. Breda wasn’t willing to invest financially in the contest.

Utrecht’s bid is also in jeopardy. It seems that, like with Breda, money might be the problem there. Den Bosch will not have that problem. A hefty sum will be invested by the city itself, with the province of Noord-Brabant also helping out. Rotterdam has a similar construction, with Zuid-Holland making €1 million available.

Cities have six days left to submit their bid books. So far, only Maastricht and Den Bosch confirmed their bid books. Rotterdam is expected to do so soon. Arnhem will first need a solution for the home matches Vitesse is going to play.

How do you feel about the capital of the Netherlands withdrawing from the host city race? Let us know!

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