In exactly three weeks, NPO, the Dutch national broadcaster is set to unveil the name of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. Initially the EBU had announced that the announcement would be expected by mid August, but now it has been set for late August. Is the battle between Rotterdam and Maastricht too close to call?
The game is not over yet for Rotterdam and Maastricht, as the cities will have to wait a little longer to know which of them will have the grand honour of hosting the 2020 Eurovision edition: NPO will unveil the name of the lucky city on Friday 30 August.
Both cities had until yesterday to provide further details and information regarding their plan of action for hosting the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest .It is now up to the NPO team to make a decision based on the latest information submitted.
Initially, five cities officially applied to host the competition, but after studying the bid books, Utrecht, Arnhem and Den Bosch were eleminated from the race, leaving Maastricht and Rotterdam in the battle. Hereafter NPO paid a visit to both the cities and their respective venues.
These visits were mainly to get acquainted to the venes and to get a feel for the audience. Maastricht is vying to host the competition at the MECC Maastricht, whilst Rotterdam is vying to host the event at the Rotterdam Ahoy.
The pros and cons of each city
It does seem that NPO is going to consider every minute detail when it selects the 2020 Eurovision Host City, as both Rotterdam and Maastricht have submitted very strong bids. Both cities are very keen to bring the competition home. Is the battle between Rotterdam and Maastricht too close to call?
Rotterdam has the advantage of having great experience in holding music events and its venue is set up for that. The fixed grand-stands may seem like an advantage, but they can prevent the placement of the huge stage, for example.
In Maastricht they have less experience with concerts, but you can set up an empty hall of 100 by 100 meters as you wish. The hotel rooms are another asset of Maastricht, they have already secured 3,000 rooms at affordable rates.
Rotterdam has also blocked 3,000 hotel rooms, but unlike Maastricht, they have not agreed on a fixed room rate, it has been asked whether something can be done about this.
How the decision will be announced on August 30 is not yet to be revealed, but NPO has already hinted that they want to make the announcement in a special way, specially as the competition is coming home after 40 years, and the Netherlands has won the contest after 44 years.
The Netherlands has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest four times already: 1958 (Hilversum), 1970 (Amsterdam), 1976 (The Hague) and 1980 (The Hague). The country will be hosting the event for the fith time next year in a new Dutch city ( Rotterdam or Maastricht).