View of the main entrance to Ahoy Rotterdam from the Zuiderparkweg
3084 BA Rotterdam
|Opened||15 January 1971 by Prince Claus|
|Renovated||1971, 1980, 1988, 1998, 2011|
6,000 (Club Ahoy)
4,000 (Theater Hal 1)
|• Exhibit hall floor||32,230 m2 (346,900 sq ft)|
|• Breakout/meeting||2,825 m2 (30,410 sq ft)|
|• Ballroom||30,000 m2 (320,000 sq ft)|
|Venue Website (Dutch)|
Ahoy Rotterdam is a convention centre and arena located in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Since opening in 1950, the centre has hosted many exhibitions, concerts and sporting events. The centre consists of three main parts: the "Beurs- & Evenementenhallen", "Congres- & Vergadercentrum" and "Ahoy Arena". The main concert venue, the Ahoy Arena (known as the "Sportpaleis van Ahoy" from 1971-2016), opened on 15 January 1971.
The basis of the present Rotterdam Ahoy was laid in 1950. After the devastation caused by the Second World War, the city of Rotterdam had worked on reconstruction and Rotterdam port was virtually complete. To mark the occasion, the Rotterdam Ahoy! exhibition was held in a purpose-built hall on the site where the medical faculty of the Erasmus University now stands.
The exhibition hall was called the Ahoy'-Hal. The apostrophe is a remnant of the original exclamation mark. The hall was used for a series of national and international events, such as the exhibition of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. During the North Sea flood of 1953 the hall also proved its worth as a reception centre for victims.
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 create today’s multifunctional venue.
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- On 18, 19 and 20 February 1977, Pink Floyd In the Flesh World Tour.
- In 1977 the progressive rock band Yes played there on their tour in support of their album Going For The One. The whole show was recorded and "Parallels" and "Wonderous Stories" were featured on the live album Yesshows.
- In 1978, Bob Marley and the Wailers played there.
- In 1979 (October 24) ABBA played there as part of ABBA: The Tour.
- In 1980 (June 21) Led Zeppelin played there as part of their Tour Over Europe 1980.
- In 1980 (June 24) and 1988 (May 3–4), Frank Zappa and his band played there.
- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the arena on April 28 and 29, 1981 as part of the River Tour. Springsteen would perform there again with the band in 2002, in addition to performances with other lineups in 1993, 2005, and 2006.
- From 1982 to 2007, Diana Ross performed there more than 20 times.
- In 1986, Prince and The Revolution performed there three times on their Parade tour, in 1987 Prince returned to play three times on the Sign o The Times Tour, later in 1998 Prince has one concert here, in 2002 Prince gives two concerts here and finally in July 2011 Prince gives three concerts during the North Sea Jazz Festival and later that month another concert, which will turn out to be his last at this venue.
- In 1986 and 1988, Whitney Houston performed there five times in the 1980s with two world tours and 11 times in the 1990s with three world tours.
- In 1986, Depeche Mode performed there on the Black Celebration Tour, in 1990 on the World Violation Tour, in 1993 on the Devotional Tour, in 2006 during Touring the Angel, and in 2009 during Tour of the Universe.
- In 1987, Deep Purple performed on February 22 and 23 on The House of Blue Light Tour.
- In 1987, Simply Red performed on June 17 and 18, in 1989 June 16, in 1990 March 21, in 1992 March 19 and April 19 on Stars Tour, in 1995 November 29 and 1996 May 15 on Life Tour, in 2000 March 15, in 2003 May 11 and December 6 on Home Tour.
- In 1989, Bon Jovi performed there for his New Jersey Syndicate Tour. He returned four years later for his Keep the Faith Tour.
- In 1990, Janet Jackson performed there as part of Rhythm Nation World Tour 1990. She returned in 1995 for two shows during her Janet World Tour. In 1998, Jackson opened her The Velvet Rope Tour there with two sold-out concerts.
- U2 performed there in 1984 for The Unforgettable Fire Tour, in 1990 for the Lovetown Tour and in 1992 for the ZooTV Tour, for a total of seven shows.
- In 1991, Gloria Estefan performed there for her Into the Light Tour, which was filmed for a VHS release. She returned in 1996 for her Evolution World Tour and 2008 for her 90 Millas World Tour.
- In 1992, Metallica performed there twice for their famous Wherever We May Roam Tour.
- In 1993, Sade performed there for the group's Love Deluxe World Tour. They would return in 2011 for their Once in a Lifetime Tour.
- In 1996, Kiss performed there during their Alive/Worldwide Reunion Tour.
- In 1996, Tina Turner played there 8 times during her world record-breaking Wildest Dreams Tour.
- In 1996, Mariah Carey performed there for her Daydream World Tour, and she returned 7 years later for her Charmbracelet World Tour.
- In 1996, Céline Dion performed for two consecutive nights for her Falling Into You Tour. The second night, the song Les derniers seront les premiers was broadcast live on national Canadian TV. The singer donated a part of the concert's proceeds to Warchild. On both nights, The Corrs were the supporting act.
- In 1997, Phil Collins performed there for his Trip Into the Light Tour.
- In 1997 the 4th MTV Europe Music Awards was held here.
- The Backstreet Boys performed there for their 1999 Into the Millennium Tour, their 2005 Never Gone Tour, their 2008 Unbreakable Tour, their 2009 This Is Us Tour, and the 2012 NKOTBSB Tour which was alongside New Kids on the Block.
- In 2000, the Dutch singer Lee Towers performed his 50th sellout Gala Of The Year concert. A special bronze bust of LT stands in the main entrance of Ahoy; he is the only person to reach this milestone at Ahoy.
- On October 30, 2000, British rock band Deep Purple recorded a live album called Live at the Rotterdam Ahoy with the orchestra and Ronnie James Dio.
- In 2002, Kylie Minogue performed as part of her KylieFever2002 and in 2005 as part of her Showgirl: The Greatest Hits Tour.
- In 2002, Alanis Morissette filmed her Towards Our Union Mented Tour at Ahoy, which was released on the DVD Feast on Scraps.
- In 2002, Destiny's Child shot their World Tour DVD at Ahoy, which was released in December 2003. The group returned with the Destiny Fulfilled... and Lovin' It on May 23 and 24, 2005.
- In 2003, pop singer Christina Aguilera performed during The Stripped Tour. She returned to the venue in 2006 for her Back To Basics Tour.
- In 2004, Shania Twain bring her Up! Tour to the venue.
- On May 7, 2004, pop sensation Britney Spears performed during her Onyx Hotel Tour. She returned to the venue in 2011 for her Femme Fatale Tour.
- American singer Cher performed during her marathon Living Proof: The Farewell Tour on June 29 and 30, 2004.
- American singer and songwriter Anastacia performed her Live at Last Tour on September 25 and 28, 2004.
- The 2007 Junior Eurovision Song Contest was held at the venue.
- Rush's 2008 live album Snakes & Arrows Live was recorded at the Ahoy.
- Several songs on the Dream Theater DVD Chaos in Motion were filmed in Ahoy.
- Shakira shot Live & off the Record, the concert DVD of her tour Tour Of The Mongoose, there on 22 April 2003. She returned in 2010 for her The Sun Comes Out World Tour.
- Armin Van Buuren gave in Ahoy his concert Armin Only, in November 2005 and 2006, featured by Sharon Den Adel among other famous artists.
- Within Temptation shot the Black Symphony concert DVD, with the Metropole Orchestra, in Ahoy.
- The North Sea Jazz Festival has been held there since 2006. Caro Emerald performed at that festival in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
- On November 27, 2014, Scorpions played Rock 'n' Roll Forever Tour concert at Ahoy Rotterdam.
- In 2016, the 23rd MTV Europe Music Awards took place for the second time here.
- In 1975, 1976 and 1978, the European final of the BBC TV programme Superstars was held there.
- The ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament ATP World Tour event has been held at the venue for many years.
- The 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships were held at the Ahoy Rotterdam from October 16 to 24.
- On April 17, 2013, the WWE was back at Ahoy Rotterdam for the first time in twenty years with the Raw Wrestlemania Revenge Tour.
- The 2015 Women's European Volleyball Championship were held at the Ahoy Rotterdam from September 26 to October 4.
- On May 12, 2016, Premier League Darts came to Ahoy.
- On April 16–17, 2016 the 2016 League of Legends Championship Series Europe Spring Split Finals were hosted at the Ahoy.
- On May 8, 2016, the UFC hosted its first event in the Netherlands at Rotterdam Ahoy.
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