THE NETHERLANDS – Do you recall how well reared Danish delegation was in 2013 when immediately after their victory in Malmö, parked outside the venue a truck with a logo “only 14 km away”? It seems The Netherlands are also veery sure for their victory. After Amsterdam and The Hague, Maastricht also declares interest to host Eurovision 2020 in case they win, according to RTL news.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 has not even started yet, but there is already speculation about the location where the festival will take place next year. In fact, the Dutch cities are in line. But what does it take at all to qualify as a city to host the song festival?
If Duncan Laurence – as the polls predict – actually takes the win on May 18, it will be the turn of the Netherlands to host the song festival next year. Careful lobbies are already being made in various cities to drag in the event. For example, Mayor Femke Halsema has announced that the song festival is welcome in Amsterdam. The political party Hart voor Den Haag / Groep de Mos believes The Hague is the right city to host the event in 2020. Leeuwarden is also enthusiastic.
In addition, the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Center (MECC) is eager to host the event, says operational director Frank Mimpen to EditieNL. “To start with, the Eurovision Song Contest fits best with Maastricht. Here is the heart of Europe. With a few kilometers you are in Germany and Belgium.”
However, there are a number of conditions that a city must meet in order to be able to organize the Eurovision Song Contest at all. For example, the location must have room for 10,000 people and be available for a total of five to seven weeks. There must also be 2,000 to 3,000 hotel beds available in the region – preferably no more than forty minutes away from the party location. The city must submit a plan in which this is reflected.
Logically, costs are also involved in the organization. “How much that is exactly is hard to say,” says former event supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest Sietse Bakker. “The costs in Russia are different than in an expensive country such as Norway. It takes a bit of coffee to look at. It also depends on what the city can deliver itself. So the location in Vienna was owned by the city – that’s cheaper than when you have to rent a hall from a commercial operator. In one city the police contribute, in the other city security has to be hired. For example, it costs 1 to 2 million in one city while other cities spend 5 to 6 million euros. ”
On the other hand, it also generates money. “Based on recent years, we see that the economic value for a city is 15 to 20 million euros. This is partly due to the delegations and tourists who sleep in hotels and spend money in the city,” he says to EditieNL.
Bakker thinks that many Dutch cities can qualify. “The distances here are very small. As a result, you do not have to be bound to hotels within your own city. Suppose, Amsterdam organizes the Eurovision Song Contest, people can spend the night in Amstelveen or even in Utrecht. If it takes place at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, people can spend the night in Amsterdam-Zuidoost again. That is why the Netherlands is looking more at the regions. That way The Hague and Rotterdam can join forces. ”
He does express his doubts about some cities. “From Amsterdam you can wonder if they want more tourists. The stages in The Hague and Leeuwarden both have no roof, so they should be covered first. But there are probably creative solutions possible.”
Operational director Frank Mimpen of MECC thinks that the hall in Maastricht can handle the event. “We are used to hosting major events. Every year we have the TEFAF – the most important world fair in the field of art. That attracts around 70,000 people. In the Maastricht region there are more than four thousand hotel beds and an airport nearby. So that’s no problem at all. ”
MECC has already had informal consultations with the province and the municipality to gauge the initial response. “Everyone is very enthusiastic,” says Mimpen. “If we have a serious opportunity in the future, we will of course go together. We will then see how to organize such a large-scale event.”