Eurovision 2020: The potential host cities and venues

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 13,605 views

Last Saturday saw Tel Aviv host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final and the Netherlands walking away with the coveted Eurovision trophy. It’s only been a few days since Duncan Laurence was crowned the winner of the 2019 Eurovision edition that the race for hosting next year’s competition has kicked off with numerous Dutch cities declaring their interest in welcoming the Eurovision bandwagon next year.

Let’s check out the potential host cities and venues that are vying to host Eurovision 2020! Several cities and regions in the Netherlands are keen on hosting the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest next year with Amsterdam and Rotterdam as the frontrunners to win the bid!

Many Dutch cities are eager to hold the 2020 ESC edition, but do they all comply with the EBU’s requirements in order to host the event? Some of the key factors which are required to host the competition include the following criteria:

  • An international airport with flight connections to most European cities (within close proximity)
  • An efficient transport system in the city
  • An indoor arena with a capacity of circa 10,000 spectators
  • Infrastructure/logistics to house the Delegation Bubble, Green Room, Press Centre, Main ESC venue etc.
  • Large hotel capacity/ rooms available to host delegations,artists, press and fans
  • Social programme/side events
  • Venues/ locations to host Euroclub, Blue Carpet, Eurovision Village, Welcome Reception etc

AVROTROS, NOS, NPO and the EBU are expected to open the 2020 Eurovision host city application window in June in order to enable the potential host cities to officially submit their respective bids. Hereafter the 2020 ESC host broadcasters will evaluate and verify all the submitted bids, ultimately shortlisting them and presenting them to the EBU.  A final decision on the 2020 Eurovision host city is expected to take place by late summer.

The EBU and AVROTROS are yet to determine the dates for Eurovision 2020.



Amsterdam is one of the hot favorites to host the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, the Dutch capital has already hosted the competition in 1970. The city has a great infrastructure, vast hotel capacity, an international airport (Schiphol International Airport) in close proximity and an efficient transport system. Amsterdam is celebrated for attracting thousands of tourists thanks to its cultural, historical and architectural heritage.

There are three potential venues in Amsterdam that can easily host Europe’s favorite televison show: Ziggo Dome, RAI Convention Centre and the Johann Cruijff Arena.

Ziggo Dome

Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam

The Ziggo Dome is a famous concert venue located in the heart of the Dutch capital with a capacity of 17,000 spectators. The venue is internationally acclaimed for having hosted many large scale concerts including: Lady Gaga, Shania Twain, U2, Elton John, Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars. Madonna, Rod Stewart etc.

The state of the art modern venue can ideally hold the Eurovision Song Contest next year.

RAI (Convention Centre)

RAI Convention Centre Amsterdam

The Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre is adequately located 8 minutes from downtown Amsterdam and is well connected to the rest of the city via train, tram and metro. The premises are a stone throw away from Amsterdam’s cultural and nightlife attractions, and just a 15 minutes ride from Schiphol International Airport.

RAI is a multifunctional event location in Amsterdam famous for hosting large scale events and trade fairs. The venue opened its doors in 1961 and its Europhal Hall can house circa 12,900 spectators.

Johann Cruijff Arena

The Johann Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam

The Johann Cruijff Arena (Amsterdam Arena)  is located in the heart of Amsterdam just next to the Ziggo Dome, and is the largest stadium in the Netherlands. The stadium can accomodate between 55,000-68,000 spectators (35,000 spectators during concerts).

The arena was inagurated in 1996 by her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

The stadium has hosted many international sports events and various concerts by world class acts: Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Robbie Williams, Genesis, U2, Madonna,  Beyonce, Coldplay, Rihanna, Celine Dion, Take That etc.

The arena has a retractable roof which opens and closes. The stadium will be hosting several Euro 2020 soccer matches scheduled to be take place in June 2020.



The port city of Rotterdam is a hot favourite along with Amsterdam to host Eurovision 2020 at the Rotterdam Ahoy. Rotterdam is not new to Eurovision events, as it played host to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2007.

Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and is major economic and logistic centre in the country.

The city boasts of the largest port of Europe and is celebrated for its majectic skyline consisting of modern sky- scrapers and unique architecture.

Rotterdam too has an excellent transport system connecting the city, an international airport (Rotterdam The Hague Airport) with direct connections to most European cities and a large number of hotel rooms.

Rotterdam Ahoy

Rotterdam Ahoy

The Rotterdam Ahoy is located in the heart of Rotterdam and opened its doors in 1971. The venue can house circa 15,000 spectators during a concert. The venue has hosted numerous large scale concerts in recent years: Lady Gaga, Queen, Shakira, Kylie Minogue, Gloria Estefan, U2, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears etc.

The Hague

The Hague

The Hague has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest twice before: 1976 and 1980. The city is quite keen to host the competition for the third time.

Den Haag (The Hague) is the third largest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The city is seat to the Dutch goverment and parliament. The International Court of Justice , Interpol and many international governmental institutions and organizations have their base in The Hague.

The Hague is served by the Rotterdam The Hague Airport and has an efficient transport system connecting the city via rail, bus and tram.

The ADO Stadium (Cars Jeans Stadium)

The Hague is interested to host the Eurovision Song Contest at the ADO Stadium (Cars Jeans Stadium), but the venue lacks a roof, and in order to hold the competition a roof needs to be installed on the stadium. This could be a drawback as it would be a costly and tedious affair to place a roof on the stadium.

The multi purpose stadium was completed in 2007 and can house circa 15,000 spectators. The stadium is located in the south east of the The Hague and is only 6 km away from the city centre and can be easily reached by bus, rail and light rail.

Cars Jeans Stadium in The Hague


Utrecht is also vying to enter the 2020 Eurovision host city race with Jaarbeurs Convention Centre as the potential venue.

Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands and has an efficient transport system. You can fly to Utrecht via Schiphol International Airport which is just a 30 minutes ride on away on the train or via Eindhoven Airport which takes circa an hour’s ride by train.


Jaarbeurs in Utrecht

The Jaarbeurs Convention and Exhibition Centre in Utrecht is celebrated for hosting music festivals and large scale events. The premises are located next to the Utrecht Central Station and offer 11 halls. The exhibition centre is spread over a 100,000 sq meters area.


Maastricht is also eyeing to welcome the Eurovision Song Contest next year with a potentially strong bid. The city has officially applied to organize the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest according to local media.

Maastricht is the capital of Limburg and is located in the south east of the Netherlands. The city is a 90 minutes ride from Brussels and Cologne. It has a small aiport (Maastricht Aachen Airport) operating flights to a few international destinations.

The Treaty of Maastricht was signed on 7 February 1992 in Maastricht, serving to officially establish the European Union

The city of Maastricht is bidding to host the competition at the MECC Maastricht.

MECC Maastricht

MECC Maastricht

The MECC Maastricht is located in the center of the city, a 5 minute walk from Maastricht-Randwyck train station and a stone’s throw away from Maastricht Central Station. The venue is easily reachable from various Dutch and European airports: Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, Eindhoven Airport, Cologne-Bonn Airport, Dusseldorf Airport, Brussels Charleroi Airport,  Brussels Zaventem Airport.


WTC Expo at Leeuwarden

Leeuwarden, the provincial capital of Friesland has also joined the list of potential Eurovision 2020 host cities. The city is plans to host the competition at the WTC Expo Leeuwarden.

WTC Expo is the prime location for high profile (international) fairs, parties, events, meetings, seminars, symposiums and conferences in the north of the Netherlands.

Leeuwarden can be reached via three airports: Eelde, Lelystad and Schiphol.


Arhem, the capital of  Gelderland,  located in the east of the Netherlands, has also shown interest in welcoming the Eurovision bandgwagon in 2020. The city is vying to host the competition at the Gelredome stadium.

Arhem is very close to the German border and is well connected via rail with Frankfurt and Dusseldorf.


Gelredome at Arherm

Gelredome is amongst the most largest and modern stadiums in the Netherlands and was inaugurated in 1998 and can house circa 25,000 spectators.

The stadium has a retractable roof and has hosted many large scale musical concerts:  Madonna, Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Shakira, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson etc.

The stadium is just a 30 minute walk from the Arnhem Central Station and is easily reachable by bus from the city centre.


Another city wanting to bring the Eurovision Song Contest home is Zwolle, located in the north east of the Netherlands and capital of Overijssel. The city wishes to host the ESC at Ijsselhallen Convention Centre.


Ijsselhallen in Zwolle

Ijssehallen is a convention centre in Zvolle which was built in 1972 and is spread over 20,000 sq meters. The premises has held several musical concerts.

The Netherlands in Eurovision

The Netherlands debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 and is one of the founder members of the competition. The country has won the contest five times ( 1957, 1959, 1969, 1975, 2019)

The Dutch have already hosted the Eurovision Song Contest four times:  Hilversum (1958), The Hague (1976, 1980) and Amsterdam (1970).

Thanks to Duncan Laurence‘s epic Eurovision victory last weekend in Tel Aviv, the Netherlands will be welcoming the Eurovision extravaganza for the fifth time.