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Rotterdam Ahoy ready for return to live after expansion

Expansion of the Rotterdam Ahoy arena complex has been completed with the addition of the Rotterdam Ahoy Convention Centre (RACC) and RTM Stage.

The project has been part of the wider Hart van Zuid development in the Dutch city and grants Rotterdam Ahoy 35 additional spaces in which to host international conventions and gatherings. RTM Stage is designed to be utilised as both a music hall for concerts and as a theatre/auditorium.

The Municipality of Rotterdam and the consortium Ballast Nedam and Heijmans are working together on the Hart van Zuid area development project to build a new and improved city centre for Rotterdam Zuid (South).

Rotterdam Alderman Bas Kurvers, who is responsible for construction and residential development, said: “This beautiful new addition to Ahoy further improves Hart van Zuid’s status as a city centre. During the current pandemic, many people cannot wait to go shopping, play sports, go to a concert or eat dinner together.

“All that and more will soon be possible in Hart van Zuid. The expansion of Ahoy helps the city grow as a destination for business conventions and events. When the demand for such events starts to increase once more, Rotterdam will be ready.”

The new addition, designed by Kraaijvanger Architects, forms the new entrance to Rotterdam Ahoy. The RACC comprises 35 spaces with capacities ranging from 50 to 1,000 people. RTM Stage is the building’s largest space. It can be used as a music hall for 7,800 visitors and as a theatre/auditorium. With a capacity of 2,750 seats, or 4,000 seats in the XL format, RTM Stage has become the largest theatre hall in the Netherlands.

The expo foyer De Rotterdam, located on the third floor, grants visitors views of the skyline of Rotterdam’s inner city. Bar Restaurant Seventy One, named after the year of Ahoy’s opening, will welcome visitors on the Ahoy square. The new development is directly connected to the rest of the event accommodation, making it possible to create various combinations with the building’s other spaces.

The grand opening of the building will be celebrated at a later date in 2021 to commemorate Ahoy’s 50th anniversary. Jolanda Jansen, general director of Rotterdam Ahoy, said: “For us, as for everyone, this year turned out completely differently from what we had envisioned. Nevertheless, we are incredibly proud of the absolutely stunning new building that will welcome our visitors from now on.

“It is finally complete after years of preparation and construction and we are thrilled. We look forward to welcoming the visitors of the many conventions, events and concerts that will be held here. After all, that is what this building is for.”

The new building turns the formerly open area in front of the events accommodation into a city square.

Image: Rotterdam Ahoy