Eurovision 2020: Rotterdam’s bid 80% ready: hot favourite to host?

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 3,581 views

It’s merely been a week since Duncan Laurence won the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv that the 2020 Eurovision host city bidding race has kicked off in the Netherlands. Circa eight Dutch cities have showcased their will to bring the competition home next year, but which cities will actually make it to the final cut? Dutch media has been rife with speculation and reports tipping Rotterdam as the hot favourite to win the bid.


The 2020 ESC host broadcasters: AVROTROS, NOS and NPO are scheduled to open the 2020 ESC Host City Bidding Process in due course, meanwhile the potential host cities are preparing their respective bids.

According to Dutch media portal AD NL Rotterdam’s  ESC 2020 hosting bid is 80% ready. The City of Rotterdam is working closely with its potential venue Rotterdam Ahoy in order to bring the competition to Rotterdam.  A special steering group has been set up specially for the occasion. The Municipality of Rotterdam will  reportedly contribute financially to host the event if Rotterdam wins the bid.

Mr.Said Kasmi (City of Rotterdam Councilor – Culture, Education, Tourism Dept) says:

The bid book is already 80 percent ready. We just have to put the finishing touches on the it!

With our extensive experience in organizing these kinds of large events, we can handle this well. Ahoy already has very good contacts with Hilversum, and Rotterdam Partners also has an excellent network. At the administrative level I conduct the interviews. That way we are going to make this a success!

Said Kasmi expects Amsterdam to be Rotterdam’s main competitor:

But when you see how busy the event calendar is already there, with also the Formula 1 in Zandvoort (Amsterdam). We focus on ourselves, with all our experience with major events such as the start of the Tour de France and the MTV Awards, the good infrastructure, the facilities we have and our boundless energy. So let’s go!

Lobbying for Rotterdam

There seems to be quite a lot of lobbying in the Netherlands to get the competition to Rotterdam as the city is ready to welcome the Eurovision bandwagon next year and it seems to comply with all the requirements needed to host the event including great hotel capacity, international airport and the infrastructure to host the competition and all the side events.

Former Dutch Eurovision hopeful Esther Hart who hails from Rotterdam is also lobbying for the city to host the competition. Esther Hart represented the Netherlands at the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest in Riga with One more night.

Along with Open Rotterdam, Esther checks out the potential venue in Rotterdam and other locations that can potentially host the Eurofan Cafe, Eurovision Village and Euroclub.

Suport from Dutch Tourist Board

The Dutch Tourist Board, NTBC, seems not to be too favourable on Amsterdam hosting the competition next year  and would like to see the event take place in Rotterdam, Arherm or Zwolle in order to showcase another side of the Netherlands.

Mr. Jos Vranken (NTBC  Holland Marketing director) says:

This is a unique opportunity for our country to use the Eurovision Song Contest for the worldwide promotion of lesser-known places in our country.

Host countries that preceded us have shown that the Eurovision Song Contest has a huge effect on the visits and image of a country.

Since most Eurovision fans are already familiar with our capital, this is an excellent opportunity for cities such as Arnhem, Rotterdam or Zwolle.

In this way, the Netherlands is showing worldwide that we have more to offer than traditional icons and places. We hope to inspire and inform visitors and viewers about our beautiful country.

About 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. Many internationally acclaimed stars have graced the Ahoy Arena.

Rotterdam Ahoy consists of several areas. The most famous is the Ahoy Arena, where the greatest artists and sports heroes perform. Rotterdam Ahoy also has six Exhibition & Event Halls.

The Rotterdam Ahoy map (Photo credit:

The Ahoy Arena is an iconic venue. The arena also serves as a major venue for world-class sports events! If you’re organising a sporting event, the Ahoy Arena can be transformed from a nightclub into a tennis court, racing circuit or beach volleyball field in no time. With perfect acoustics and offering a great visitor experience the arena is state of the art.


The Ahoy Arena (Photo credit:

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.