Sportpaleis

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Antwerps Sportpaleis
Sportpaleis
Sportpaleis 2011.jpg
Location Antwerp, Belgium
Coordinates 51°13′52″N 4°26′28″E / 51.23111°N 4.44111°E / 51.23111; 4.44111
Broke ground 1932
Built 1933
Opened September 11, 1933
Renovated 2010-2013
Expanded 2013
Owner Province of Antwerp
Operator nv Antwerps Sportpaleis
Capacity 15,089 (seating capacity)
19,918 (standing capacity)
23,001 (maximum capacity)

The Antwerps Sportpaleis (Antwerp's Sport Palace), also called Sportpaleis Antwerpen or simply the Sportpaleis, is an arena in Antwerp, Belgium. It is a multipurpose hall where concerts, sporting events, festivals and fairs are organized. The arena was built for sport, especially track cycling, but there is now little sport there, an exception being the Diamond Games tennis.

According to Billboard Magazine, the Sportpaleis is the second most visited event hall in the world, second only to Madison Square Garden.[1] The Sportpaleis is known for performances by both Dutch-speaking and international artists. It also hosts the Nekka-Nacht, the Proximus Diamond Games tennis tournament for women and Pop Poll De Luxe, organised by the magazine HUMO.

The main building is 88 metres wide and 132 metres long and has a roof spanning 11.600 m². Under the stands, there is a wooden cycling track 250 meters long and 8 meters wide. The arena is elliptical and has two floors.

Next to the Sportpaleis is its sister venue the Lotto Arena, a hall that can accommodate 8,000 spectators.

History[edit]

Building started on 11 January 1932. It lasted 21 months: on 11 September 1933, the building was completed, the largest indoor arena in Europe.

On 29 September 1956, road cycling world champion Stan Ockers died a few days after a crash in his 116th performance at the track.

On 19 November 1988, Roy Orbison gave his last performance at the Sportpaleis, performing "You Got It", live, for the first and only time.

Janet Jackson was scheduled to perform during her All for You Tour on 29 November but the show was cancelled due to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Cher performed on June 7, 2004 during her marathon Living Proof: The Farewell Tour.

American R&B singer, Beyoncé performed on her The Beyoncé Experience Tour, on May 19, 2007. In 2009, Beyoncé confirmed that she will return on May 7, 2009 for her I Am... Tour. In 2013, tickets for two consecutive concerts on May 14 & May 15, 2013 at the venue went on sale for The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Both shows (33,000 tickets) sold out in under an hour; a new record.[2] The first show on May 14, 2013 was cancelled 3 hours before the show and rescheduled to May 31, 2013.[3][4] On December 2013, Beyoncé confirmed that she will return on March 20 & 21, 2014 for the same tour. It will be the 4th time that Beyoncé will perform there with her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. [5] It was then announced that Beyoncé had beaten the record she herself had set earlier in the year, by selling 40,000 tickets in under one hour for the two 2014 concerts at the venue.[6] In 2014, Beyoncé confirmed that she will return on January 3, 2015 for The Flawless World Tour.

American pop singer Britney Spears performed here on a stop, during her highest-grossing tour, The Circus Starring Britney Spears, on July 9, 2009. In 2011, her team confirmed that Britney would return and perform a concert in this arena, on October 8, 2011, for her newest tour, Femme Fatale Tour.

Pop superstar and vocal sensation Christina Aguilera performed here during the European leg of her popular The Stripped Tour on October 27, 2003. She returned to the venue on December 3, 2006 during her Back To Basics Tour.

Fleetwood Mac performed on their 'Unleashed' tour 14 October 2009.

Muse performed three sold out shows in the venue on 19 December 2006, 2 November 2009 and 18 December 2012 as part of their Black Holes and Revelations Tour, The Resistance Tour and The 2nd Law World Tour.

Sting performed during his Symphonicities Tour on 13 October 2010, along with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Rihanna came to the Sportpaleis for concerts in October and November in 2011 as part of her Loud Tour, and on 5 and 6 June 2013 as part of her Diamonds World Tour.

On 29 & 30 September 2012, Lady Gaga performed two shows at the arena as part of the worldwide tour, Born This Way Ball. She will return to the venue on September 23, 2014 for her Artrave: The Artpop Ball.

Other artists who have performed at the Sportpaleis are: Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Prince, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Shakira, Usher, AC/DC, P!nk, Kylie Minogue, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion, Scorpions, Spice Girls, The Black Eyed Peas, Mariah Carey, Natalia, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Mumford & Sons and Justin Bieber amongst others.

Jennifer Lopez performed here as part of her Dance Again World Tour on October 14.

Milk Inc have performed there every year since 2006.

Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation celebrated their 15 anniversary with a very special show entitled Elements at the Sportpaleis. They were accompanied by the renowned Il Novecentro Orchestra and some special guests. The concert was held on November 13, 2012, and was sold out.[7][8]

One Direction performed here as part of their world tour "Take Me Home World Tour" on May 1, 2013.

The 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships were held at the Sportpaleis in early October.

Audience[edit]

Billboard Magazine said the Sportpaleis was the second most visited event hall in the world between November 2007 and November 2008, with 1,239,436 visitors. Only Madison Square Garden in New York had more.[1]

The arena can hold 23.001 people after expansions in 2012 and 2013.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Olympic Velodrome
Rome
UCI Track Cycling World Championships
Venue

1969
Succeeded by
Saffron Lane
Leicester
Preceded by
Manchester Velodrome
Manchester
UCI Track Cycling World Championships
Venue

2001
Succeeded by
Siemens Arena
Ballerup