Rotterdam 2020

MECC’s roof reason for not selecting Maastricht as Eurovision host city?

Could the height of MECC been the main cause of Maastricht not winning?

On August 30, 2019, it was revealed that Rotterdam has been chosen to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. This meant that Maastricht missed out on hosting the contest next year, but they have at least managed to be one of the remaining candidates in the hosting race.

Maastricht has now revealed their bidbook, and we take a look at the What-If? and how Maastricht would have hosted the competition, if it were given the chance to do so.

Venues Maastricht would have used

Of course, Maastricht also told the organisation which venues they were planning to use to host the Eurovision Song Contest next year. Below we’ll be scanning through these venues, including the MECC and the reasons why NPO, Avrotros, NOS and EBU decided not to select Maastricht for the hosting job next year.

MECC: A roof with issues

Should the hosting of the contest been awarded to Maastricht, the contest would have been held in the MECC. Reports from 1limburg suggest that the Dutch broadcasters (NPO/AVROTROS/NOS) have not made clear the carrying capacity the venue should have. During discussions last month, the height of MECC’s ceiling has been questioned, as well as the strength of the roof. This is to ensure that it is able to support the structures being used in the contest. It was made clear that the roof should support around 200 tons.

MECC Director Rob van de Wiel already said the roof would potentially struggle if the two big halls were to be used. Due to that, the Maastricht delegation decided to scrap the rebuilding plans and instead focus on the Zuidhal alone – a smaller hall without many resources. The delegation shifted their focus to the Zuidhal are rebuilding plans turned out to be too expensive and time consuming. Local media in Limburg are angry that the organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest did not inform Maastricht sooner that the roof was very likely unsuitable for the contest. They claim the Maastricht delegation were told during the site visit in July that the roof was unsuitable.

Euroclub & Eurovision Village

Accredited persons (Delegations, Press etc.) would have access to the Euroclub. Originally, Maastricht wanted to set up a round silo in the ‘City Meadow’. However, after consulting the broadcasters and the Dutch OGAE organization, they have ended up deciding as Muziekgieterij as the suitable venue. By doing this, it would increase the capacity for the Eurovision Village. Muziekgieterij was also the location for the Maastricht press conference on Friday afternoon.

The Eurovision Village, which is one of the venues where people can make sure that people do not miss the contest (watching it through large screens) would have been located in the new ‘City Meadow’ located in Sphinxkwartier. The former industrial side of the city is now being used for all sorts of cultural projects, where the Eurovision Song Contest would’ve fit in nicely.

Opening Ceremony

As with tradition, every Sunday before Eurovision Week, the opening ceremony for the contest will take place. Maastricht had opted to use the ‘Provincial House’, with the Red Carpet (where the participating contestants would walk) taking place on pontoons in the Meuse river. No further explanation has been given on how the pontoons would work.

Hosting the opening ceremony at the Provinciehuus would’ve been a logical idea, seeing how the province of Limburg chose to openly support the Maastricht bid. They did so in name and in finances.

Insignia exchange

The Key Exchange, in which Tel Aviv would’ve passed over the keys to Maastricht, would have taken place at the Town Hall. Maastricht also had a plan to have a countdown clock, not just in Maastricht but all over The Netherlands to mark the occasion.

The TEFAF Art Fair (due to take place on the 9th March) would have been the venue for the Heads of Delegation meeting, where the participating countries would have been submitting their entries for the 2020 contest. TEFAF stands for The European Fine Arts Fair and is a regular event at the MECC in Maastricht.

Cost of Hosting the Competition

Maastricht has spent around €300,000 for their bid to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020. The city has detailed that the funding streams that were to be used in order to fund the contest:

  • €6 million from the Municipality of Maastricht
  • €6.5 million from the Province
  • €5.2 million of resources in order to assist the hosting of the competition

Accommodation

One of the most talked topics in Maastricht’s bid is the Accommodation options that were available. Maastricht did block 3,000 rooms for the crew, delegations and press. In addition to this, Maastricht also looked into rooms, within 40 kilometers of Maastricht (including rooms in Belgium and Germany), which would have guaranteed 13,225 rooms for the contest. The bidbook however does not provide information on transport from and to these surrounding cities.

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As part of their plans, Maastricht also would have placed counters at the four airports within the vicinity of Maastricht, as well as 400 flags, 120 banners, 150 bus shelters, and 150 taxis and buses to get Maastricht in the Eurovision spirit.

After going through Maastricht’s Bid Book, do you think they would’ve hosted the Eurovision Song Contest well? Let us know in the comments section below or at social media. Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates!

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