Aarhus in Denmark will host the 2017 SportAccord Convention ©SportAccord Convention

The 2017 SportAccord Convention will take place in Aarhus in Denmark, it was announced here today.

The decision was made by the SportAccord Council today and was revealed by the body's President Francesco Ricci Bitti in his speech at the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 edition.

The Scandinavian Congress Center in the heart of Aarhus has been confirmed as the venue, with the Convention scheduled to run from April 2 to 7.

It will mark the first time the Scandinavian nation has ever played host to the event and Aarhus will become the eighth European city to welcome the Olympic Movement for the Convention.

The 2017 edition will be the 15th SportAccord Convention to be held.

"It is a pleasure to bring the SportAccord Convention to Aarhus, Denmark," Ricci Bitti said.

"I am confident that our collaboration will provide an excellent platform for Aarhus and Sport Event Denmark to continue to support the international sport community, while meeting the needs of our stakeholders and delegates, and giving them the opportunity to embrace and experience a country which is passionate about sport.”

Aarhus is located 187 kilometres northwest of Copenhagen, which staged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in 2009, where Rio de Janeiro was voted as the host nation of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Golf and rugby sevens were added to the Olympic programme in the Danish capital seven years ago.

Aarhus will be the first-ever Danish host of the SportAccord Convention next year
Aarhus will be the first-ever Danish host of the SportAccord Convention next year ©Visit Aarhus

The country has a close relationship with SportAccord Convention as Sport Event Denmark are a Gold Partner of the event.

"SportAccord Convention offers a unique opportunity to bring the World of Sport together in meetings, forums and to engage in networking," Sport Event Denmark chief executive Lars Lundov said.

"Ever since the first Convention in Madrid in 2003, Sport Event Denmark - together with our Danish host cities - has been a proud partner with SportAccord Convention.

"We therefore look forward to assisting SportAccord Convention in staging the Convention next year in Aarhus and to showing our ability to host this impressive event.”

The decision to award the 2017 conference to Aarhus follows a convoluted process to find a host nation for this year's edition, before the Olympic Capital was eventually given the nod.

It came after Sochi pulled out of its contract to host the next five editions following last year's controversy when then SportAccord President Marius Vizer publicly criticised IOC counterpart President Thomas Bach, prompting several Federations to resign from the organisation.

The 2017 SportAccord Convention will be held at the Scandinavian Congress Center
The 2017 SportAccord Convention will be held at the Scandinavian Congress Center ©Scandinavian Congress Center

Then Dubai, who had been lined up as the replacement, withdrew on the eve of signing a contract. 

Doha had reportedly been interested but decided not to take their interest further after stepping in to replace Rio de Janeiro as hosts of the 2016 ANOC General Assembly.

The search for a venue for the 2017 and 2018 Conventions was launched in December.

Held in a different city every year, the annual SportAccord Convention is a unique opportunity for key decision-makers from sport and industry to meet, network, and strategically shape global, regional and national agendas, organisers claim. 

"It is quite a scoop that Aarhus will be hosting the world’s largest international event for sport and industry leaders next year." Aarhus Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard said.

"It provides the city with the opportunity to present the many qualities Denmark and Aarhus has to offer - and for Aarhus in particular, it is a great joy to host the SportAccord Convention while Aarhus is the European Capital of Culture 2017."