A nationwide Dutch bid for the second edition of the European Games in 2019 has been confirmed today by the Netherlands Olympic Committee and Sport Federation (NOC*NSF), with Amsterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven, but not Rotterdam or Utrecht, likely to play a role.
During a meeting of the NOC*NSF General Assembly at their headquarters in Arnhem, a majority of the members gave their approval to the NOC*NSF Board.
It follows a large investigation carried out by the NOC*NSF to gauge support for the bid, which requires financial backing from the Dutch Government, sponsorship and private money.
Instead of having a dedicated Athletes' Village, it is proposed that all participants will stay in existing accommodation in the area where their respective sport will be held.
"It will be an unique concept where the nation and not one city will be hosting the European Games in 2019," said Andre Bolhuis, President of the NOC*NSF.
"We have worked out a bid that is largely in line with the new IOC [International Olympic Committee] Agenda 2020.
"Our bid will have a maximum budget of €125 million (£89.5 million/$137.2 million).
"There won't be any large investments on infrastructural projects for example.
"All the events will take place in existing sports accommodation around the country.
"We have a fine network of top sport accommodation already which we are going to use for the event."
But both Utrecht and Rotterdam have confirmed today they will not be involved for "cost reasons", DutchNews has reported, with other cities yet to confirm their intentions.
The Netherlands is likely to be the only bidder, even though Istanbul, Minsk, Kazan, Liverpool and Prague have been mooted as potential successors to this year’s inaugural hosts Baku.
Meanwhile, Glasgow, which was one of the early frontrunners, was last month named as joint hosts of the newly-created European Sports Championships along with Berlin in 2018.
Bolhuis feels that the 2019 European Games is an unique chance to show the world that a small nation is capable of organising major sports events.
"The Netherlands have proved in the past that we are very capable of organising these kind of events," he said.
"Only last year we had world championships in hockey (The Hague), rowing (Amsterdam) and BMX (Rotterdam) in our country.
"This year we will have a beach volleyball world championship in four unique locations throughout the country and Utrecht will host the start of the Tour de France, and the first two stages of this year's Tour will be decided in our country.
"We feel that with an event like the European Games in 2019 on the calendar will have a major impact on the popularity of sport in The Netherlands."
Bolhuis said the NOC*NSF promised its members to make a bid under the conditions of the European Olympic Committees and guaranteed its Assembly that there will not be any financial risk.
“We need to have financial commitments from national, regional and local Governments,” he added.
“And we also want guarantees from participating International Federations that it will be an absolute elite sports event.”
The Dutch will participate at the inaugural European Games in Baku with a team of around 120 athletes.
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