A total of 9 cities had applied to host the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest next year in the Netherlands. This number dropped today to 8 as the city of  Leeuwarden withdrew from the bidding race 

Leeuwarden’s candidacy and the problem that led to the withdrawal

Leeuwarden has withdrawn from the host city bid race for  Eurovision 2020 as the height of the roof of the proposed venue is lower than the required height.

The city of Leeuwarden, is the regional capital city of  Friesland in the northern part of the country and has shown interest to host  Eurovision 2020. The authorities planned to host the competition at the  WTC Expo LeeuwardenWTC Expo is extend over an area of 45.000 sq meters for exhibitions and his divided in several independent spaces. In the past it has hosted, exhibitions, fairs, parties, events, meetings, seminars, symposiums and conferences.

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However the problem was there from the beginning and local authorities wanted to give a shot by solving it somehow. The height of the WTC Expo is lower for such an event  and according to local officials the time to raise the height and replace the roof  with a higher one is not enough to be on time for the competition.

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City’s officials explain the reason for withdrawing

Talking to Dutch media outlet  AD, Deputy Major Sjoerd Feitsma describes the withdrawal as a “pity”:

We knew from the start that the height of the WTC Expo could be a bottleneck. But you don’t miss out on the chance to bring the Eurovision Song Contest to your city. That is why we have applied ourselves with full conviction.

Its a hard and painful decision taking in mind that the city met all the other requirements.

And S. Feitsma goes on saying :

The height of the room is actually the only requirement that we cannot meet. We were confident that we could continue to manage the organization.

Even before the national broadcaster had sent the book of condition to the city the authorities had investigated the issue of the roof. During this weekend it emerged that whatever attempt to raise higher the roof demanded time that was not enough until the competition making such option unrealistic. 

National broadcaster NPO reacting to the city’s withdrawal thanked it for the interest while its spokesperson stated: 

As the organization of the event we are happy to see cities and regions respond with enthusiasm. 

After this development the local authorities are making plans of creating viewing areas of the contest during its broadcast in May 2020.

8 cities remain in the host city bidding race 

As NPO , AVROTROS and NOS in collaboration with  EBU  are responsible for the next Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in The Netherlands. A total of 8 cities remain int he host city bid race after Leeuwarden’s withdrawal:

  • Amsterdam
  • Rotterdam
  • Arnhem
  • Maastricht-Limburg
  • Utrecht
  • The Hague
  • Den Bosch
  • Breda

The cities have 4 weeks in front of them to prepare their proposal and the candidacy file that will support them. Through their documents they must have answers and solutions to issues that have to do with the location where the event will be hosted, the facilities for the side events, the accommodation , infrastructure and technical issues and transportation means and accessibility as well.

Host city announcement in August

The candidate cities have time up to Wednesday , July 1o to submit their files and proposalsHowever up to this date any other city or region that is interested in hosting the next Eurovision Song Contest can submit its file-application. All files will be handed to the three Dutch broadcasters that NPO, AVROTROS and NOS in order to review all proposals. The final decision on which city will host the next Eurovision Song Contest will be revealed in August.

Meanwhile the EBU and the three Dutch broadcasters will determine the dates on which the three live shows of the next Eurovision will take place in The Netherlands, after Duncan Laurence’s victory last month in Tel Aviv.