It’s been announced that the Abdi Ipekçi Arena in Istanbul, which hosted the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest will be demolished and replaced with a newer, more modern arena.
Built in 1989, the Abdi Ipekçi Arena has hosted many concerts and sporting events over its 28 year history. As well as Eurovision, the arena was the venue for 2 Spice Girls concerts in 1997, the European Handball Championships in 2001, an Enrique Inglesias concert in 2007 and the Women’s World Basketball Championship in 2014.
The Basketball Federation of Turkey has stated that once the current Abdi Ipekçi Arena has been demolished, a new arena complete with more modern facilities and amenities, including a museum will open in its place.
The 2004 Eurovision Song Contest was a historic turning point for Eurovision as it was the first time a semi-final was used at the contest. In addition, a then-record breaking 36 countries took part, (including débuts for Albania, Andorra, Belarus and Serbia and Montenegro) and Monaco returned to Eurovision for the first time since 1979. The venue also saw Ukraine’s first ever Eurovision win with Ruslana’s Wild Dances, which at the time was the highest scoring winner to date and even today still remains in the Top 20 highest scoring Eurovision entries ever!
Were you in the arena that night? What are your favourite memories from Eurovision in Istanbul?
Let us know what you think!
Author: James Scanlan
Image Source: Wikipedia