Editorials & Opinion

Eurovision 2020: Evaluating the bids – who comes out on top?

Which of the bids is the best option for 2020?

Five cities have handed in their bidbooks to the Eurovision 2020 organising committee at NPO today. Delegations gathered in Hilversum to present their ideas to NPO president Shula Rijxman. One of Rotterdam, Maastricht, Den Bosch, Arnhem or Utrecht will get to host the most prestigious music event of the year next year.

That is why we at ESCXTRA.com have decided to evaluate the bids. We will weigh all options and see who comes out on top. For that, we will be judging the bids on several criteria. These criteria are:

  • Venue
  • Hospitability and culture
  • Accomodation and transport
  • Finances
  • Local support

Venue: More than a TV show

The venue is a very important part of the Eurovision Song Contest. In fact, without a venue, there is no contest, so it’s good to start off by looking at the venue and see who takes the first ‘point’.

A venue needs to have more than just a nice hall to broadcast the show from. You need a lot of other rooms, halls and spaces to accomodate everything. Just think of dressing rooms, interview rooms, press conference hall and the press centre. That is why conference and convention centres often have good cards to host the show. Just think about both Kiev and Tel Aviv. Lisbon needed side buildings for the other events and proceedings, which was well taken care off, but still not as ideal as having everything under one roof.

That’s where problems arise for Arnhem. They do not have everything in-house, but will rely on side buildings. Problems also arise for Utrecht: They don’t actually have a venue. The roof of the Jaarbeurs is too low, so instead they’re planning a giant tent in the parking lot, choosing to use the Jaarbeurs for the press events and dressing rooms. A tent idea like theirs has never worked before and has, explicably, never won a bidding process.

That leaves us with three venues. All three venues have multiple halls to host and accomodate the side events. That means we’re now going to look at the actual TV show, which has several elements to look into: Capacity, roof height and TV show experience.

Ahoy Rotterdam has the highest roof, meaning it will be easy to accomodate lights and cameras. Roof height is a criterium Brabanthallen in Den Bosch and MECC in Maastricht can also fulfill, but not as easily as Rotterdam. At the same time, it’s also the largest venue. Nearly 16,000 people could attend Eurovision 2020 there, followed by nearly 14,000 for Den Bosch and just under 13,000 for Maastricht.

Ahoy Rotterdam

The MTV EMAs were aired from Ahoy Rotterdam twice. Den Bosch usually has a couple of sports events broadcast on TV from year to year. For Maastricht, it’s the hardest to find examples of their TV experience. All in all, that means Rotterdam has the best venue.

On the next page, we’ll look at our next criterium: Hospitability and culture! >>>

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