British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
December 2 - Alexandra Palace has been chosen by the Dutch Olympic Committee to be the base for their famous Heineken House during the London 2012 Games, they have announced.
The landmark building, located in North London in an area between Hornsey, Muswell Hill and Wood Green, will be turned into a giant giant beer hall open to the public and will act as a hospitality centre for athletes, officials and VIP officials.
Holland are the latest country to sign a deal to set up a hospitality area following France's agreement with Old Billingsgate, Germany with the Museum of London Docklands and Brazil with Somerset House.
The contract was signed at a celebration event at the Palace attended by Gerard Dielessen the managing director of the Netherlands Olympic Committee.
He said: "Heineken has been the organiser of Heineken Holland House since Barcelona 1992, for which we are enormously grateful.
"The national house has grown into an extremely popular Olympic hotspot – with the help of many others.
"This success is certain to be repeated during London 2012, especially now that it is so close to home.
"The city is expected to attract tens of thousands of Dutch visitors a day, both with and without tickets to the events."
The Palace was named after Alexandra of Denmark, the wife of Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, and was originally nicknamed the "People's Palace" before being rechristened "Ally Pally".
It is now a Grade II listed building, located about 20 minutes from the centre of London.
Hans Böhm, Marketing Director of Heineken Netherlands: "The international nature of the Olympics, in conjunction with national pride for the Orange [Dutch team] fits seamlessly into the Heineken brand.
"The location, popularly called 'Ally Pally', is unique and has a beautiful history, since 1873, which coincidentally was also the birth of the Heineken brand.
"The Rolling Stones, Led Zepellin, and The Kings of Leon performed in Ally Pally and, where in 1936, the first public television broadcasts in the world was provided by the BBC. "
Last year Haringey Council had written to London 2012 suggesting Alexandra Palace as a possible site for badminton, boxing or gymnastics after it was decided that changes needed to be made to the venue plan.
But London 2012 decided to move the badminton and gymnastics to Wembley Arena instead.
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September 2009: Ally Pally should stage Olympic events, claims Haringey