Tuesday, July 16, 2019

EUROVISION 2020: IT'S ROTTERDAM VS. MAASTRICHT

Rotterdam started as a front runner the race as the host for Eurovision song contest 2020 but then came Maastricht with its bid and presentation and is now really challenging Rotterdam. As the Dutch broadcasters dismissed the other candidates, we now have to wait for the EBU delegation to have a visit to both of these cities and be introduced to the venues and intended opening ceremony, red carpet, Eurovision village and other venues as well as the overal plan and idea of the 2020 contest....

Rotterdam is the second biggest city in the Netherlands and its history goes back to 1270 while it's a city since 1340. It's also Europe's biggest port with a population of about 635.000. The city center was nearly completely distroyed in the World War II and today its skyline is heavily marker by skyscrapers and some very original modern architecture. Rotterdam also has the oldest metro in the Netherlands, it opened in 1968 and today it has five lines.
Today it's also a very multi ethnic city with only half the population being of Dutch origin with large communities of people from Surinam, Turkey, Morocco, Dutch Caribbean, Capo Verde and Indonesia. 
Rotterdam's Ahoy is the chosen venue. Originally opened in 1971 it has been renovated and expanded several times, last in 2011. It has hosted besides many sporting events Junior Eurovision song contest in 2007 and MTV Music awards in 1997 and in 2016. The main arena has a seating capacity of 16.426 and the other two halls 6.000 and 4.000. Ahoy is another example of sriking architecture of Rotterdam and has won several awards for it. 

Maastricht lies in the deep south of the Netherlands sandwiched between Belgium and Germany. Originally maybe a Roman settlement it's today the capital of Limburg province with 122.000 inhabitants, best known for the Maastricht Treaty and as the birthplace of euro. It's second only to Amsterdam with its 1677 national heritage buildings. People have lived there since the Neanderthals, later came Celts, then Romans. Today the city has large German, Belgian and Indonesian populations among others. 
Compared to Rotterdam Maastricht lacks a large scale airport and the proposed venue MECC Maastricht may not as ready to use as Ahoy. It was opened in 1988 and expanded in 2000, while another one is apparently on going in the congress areas (2019-2021). The total capacity is said to be 20.000. 

I still support Rotterdam, it just feels ready and well prepaired for it in every way....

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