Overnight the five Dutch cities hoping to host Eurovision in 2020 submitted their final bids and 'bid books' to the broadcasters NPO, AVROTROS and NOS in a somewhat elaborate ceremony. The five cities are:
We've taken a look at the host cities including their size, how you get there from Australia and what a hotel will approximately cost for one week in mid-May 2019.
Travel: Flight to Amsterdam, 1 hour 13 minutes by train to Arnhem
Arnhem intends to host the contest in the GelreDome which has a capacity of 34,000 and a retractable roof. It has hosted concerts from world stars as well as Davis Cup ties and Euro2000 matches. The local football team Vitesse currently use the stadium but are willing to temporarily relocate (if another stadium is built).
Chances of winning: Low
Travel: Flight to Amsterdam, 1 hour by train or Flight to Brussels, 1 hour 40 minutes by train
Den Bosch or s-Hertongenbosch in full may be known to tennis fans for hosting their annual grass court tournaments. The show would be held in Brabanthallen with a capacity of 11,000 and regularly hosts large scale concerts.
Chances of winning: Low
Travel: Fly to Brussels, 1 hour 20 minutes by train. Fly to Dusseldorf, 2 hour train. Fly to Amsterdam, 2 hours 30 minutes by train. Fly to Frankfurt, 2 hours 25 minutes by train.
Maastricht has been gaining steam in their bid to host the contest. Located in the south of The Netherlands and closer to major cities in Belgium and Germany than the capital, it would be a true 'European' contest. They intend to host it at the Maastricht Exhibition & Conference Centre with a capacity of 20,000. The bid team made a grand entrance yesterday and have the support of famous violinist Andre Rieu. They also put together this bid video you can find below.
Chances of winning: Medium
Travel: Flight to Amsterdam, 26 minutes by train. Flight to Rotterdam (via additional stop in Europe)
The bid is also supported by nearby city The Hague and is the favourite after Amsterdam pulled out. The largest city bidding intends to host the contest in the Ahoy Arena with a capacity of 16,000. It has hosted Junior Eurovision, the MTV European Music Awards and also the annual Rotterdam ATP Tennis Open. The team also put together a bid video you can find below.
Chances of winning: High
Travel: Fly to Amsterdam, 35 minutes by train
Utrecht delivered their bid by cycle courier and intend to keep this 'green' approach by not offering cars to any of the delegations. Additionally without a stadium to use they intend to build a giant 'tent' to host the contest in (how many times have we heard that one?).
Chances of winning: Non-existent
So all in all it looks to be a race between Rotterdam and Maastricht (which even the hotel prices seem to suggest). On one hand you have Rotterdam, which is a modern large city with accommodation and a great arena, and then on the other you have Maastricht, which has the old European feel, close to other nations but is smaller and a little difficult to get to. Den Bosch maybe the super outsider that ticks a few boxes. It's hard to see Arnhem really building another stadium for their football team and there will be no tented Eurovision in Utrecht.
For Australians the options of different airports to fly in to for Maastricht might seem tempting, however, after 25 hours of flying another 2 hours+ on the train doesn't sound too fun. Additionally those flying into other cities in Europe (like London) have the option of getting to Rotterdam or Amsterdam (for Rotterdam) directly.
We recently polled European and Australians on which they preferred. Rotterdam won with both, 85%-15% with Europeans and 76%-24% with Australians.
Will it be chosen? We will find out in August.