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Rotterdam Ahoy

Rotterdam Ahoy (also known as Ahoy Rotterdam or simply as Ahoy) is a convention centre and multi-purpose arena located in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Opened in 1950, the complex consists of three main venues: a fairs and event hall, a congress and conference centre, and the Ahoy Arena. The Ahoy Arena (known as the "Sportpaleis" from 1971 to 2016), was opened on 15 January 1971 and since April 2019 has an increased seating capacity of 16,426.

History

Rotterdam Ahoy, in its current form, was built in 1970. The complex’s striking design won various national and international awards for its special steel structures. The design of the venue took inspiration from the water, with the building laid out like a ship. The first event to be held there was the Femina family exhibition. Since then, Ahoy has been expanded on a number of occasions, and was renovated and refurbished in 1998 to designs by the architectural firm Benthem Crouwel which created today’s multifunctional venue.

In July 2018, construction work began on an extension to the Ahoy complex. Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre and RTM Stage, designed by , is expected to open in the third quarter of 2020. The new premises, featuring a congress centre and 2,750-seat concert hall, will add an additional 35,000 square metres of floor space.

The artists' entrance of the main arena was renamed "Door Duncan" in 2020, in honor of Duncan Laurence (who was born in nearby Spijkenisse) who brought the Netherlands its first victory in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1975.

Events

It has hosted sports competitions such as the Rotterdam Open and Six Days of Rotterdam every year and is one of the venues for Premier League Darts since 2016. Other international events include:

  • 1973 European Athletics Indoor Championships
  • 1989 FIFA Futsal World Championship
  • 2007 Junior Eurovision Song Contest
  • 2009 World Judo Championships
  • 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships
  • 2011 World Table Tennis Championships
  • 2014 UCI BMX World Championships
  • 2015 Women's European Volleyball Championship
  • 2017 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships
  • 2019 Men's European Volleyball Championship
  • 2020 Premier League Darts (2 competition days)

    The 1997 and 2016 MTV Europe Music Awards and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2007 were also held in the Ahoy Arena. Rotterdam Ahoy was expected to hose the Eurovision Song Contest 2020. It would have been the second venue to host both the junior and adult editions of the contest, after the Palace of Sports, Kiev in Ukraine. On 18 March 2020, the EBU announced the cancellation of the contest due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the Dutch government requested that the arena would be utilised as a field hospital.