Turkey’s venue for Eurovision 2004, Abdi Ipekçi Arena, in Istanbul is to be demolished. The arena that fourteen years ago saw Ruslana’s ‘Wild Dances’ bring Ukraine’s first Eurovision win will be no more.
Istanbul’s 12,500 capacity arena first opened in 1989 and was the venue for a number of significant concerts, events and sporting events. The Basketball Federation of Turkey has confirmed that the arena will be demolished to make way for a new arena which will become the modern home for Turkish basketball. The new arena will feature modern amenities, expanded facilities and a new museum, among other public areas and attractions.
Eurovision 2004 – ‘Wild Dances’
Eurovision 2004 was the first to feature a semi-final after a record breaking 36 countries decided to take part. Many new countries had their debut at Istanbul, including Albania, Andorra, Belarus and Serbia & Montenegro. Monaco also returned to the competition for the first time since 1979. Ruslana won the contest with the song ‘Wild Dances’, giving Ukraine their first Eurovision win.
Did you watch Eurovision 2004 at the time? What were your memories of it? Who was your favourite in 2004? Let us know in the comments below or on social media @escXtra