AEG Inks Ahoy Deal

AEG Facilities has inked a deal to help Dutch sports arena Rotterdam Ahoy through a major refurbishment and give assistance with bookings and providing operational, sponsorship, marketing and other support services.

The multi-year agreement was unveiled June 3 and described as “very positive news” by Ahoy chief exec Jos van der Vegt.

The 10,500-capacity arena and six large event halls with a total floor space of 30,000 square metres was built in 1971 and now attracts 1.7 million visitors per year.

The city of Rotterdam estimates that spin-offs from the Ahoy are worth about euro 300 million to the local economy.

The major refurbishment, which will see the arena capacity increased to 13,500 in addition to upgrading a broad range of artist and guest amenities, arena acoustics and technology advancements, will create a world-class arena that will be successful for years to come.

Construction is to start during the summer, but the building will continue to stage events as normal until March 2010. Between May and September next
year, most events will be transferred from the arena to Hall 1, although the annual North Sea Jazz Festival won’t be affected.

“Our affiliation with AEG Facilities will provide us a strategic international partner who will use its prominence throughout Europe as well as a wide variety of international resources and experience to modernize the Ahoy Arena and attract the most popular music, sports, family and entertainment events,” van der Vegt explained.

AEG Facilities chief ops officer Bob Newman said the U.S. company has always considered Rotterdam to be one of the world’s most prestigious cities and it intends to make it one of the “must-play” venues for international concert tours.