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Rotterdam to host EHL KO16

The Euro Hockey League and the EHF are delighted to confirm they have signed a deal with HC Rotterdam to host the KO16 for three of the next five seasons.

The first part of the deal will see the Dutch club host the KO16 of the world’s best club hockey competition next Easter from Friday, March 30 to Monday, April 2, 2018, welcoming 16 of the continent’s best clubs across four intense days of knock-out action.

It will be the fifth time Rotterdam has hosted the EHL and they are a club synonymous with the elite competition.

Indeed, they hosted the first ever EHL FINAL4 in 2008 and then again in 2009. The Hazelaarweg venue was also home to the KO16 in 2010 and 2012. The club regularly welcomes top class fixtures including the 2001 Champions Trophy, the 2005 Junior World Cup, the 2008 Champions Trophy, the World League Semi-Finals in 2013 and the Masters World Cup in 2014.

On the field, the club are also one of the most famous teams in the EHL’s history, winning a silver and two bronze medals in their six previous campaigns in the world’s best club hockey competition. Rotterdam club member for life Jeroen Hertzberger is the EHL’s all-time top scorer with 35 goals in the competition.

Speaking about the new deal, HC Rotterdam’s President Edwin Brouwers said: “Hosting the EHL once more is a great honour for our club.

“The fact, that all teams will play two matches makes it more interesting for the teams and fans to travel to Rotterdam. Together with the EHL and all our partners in the City of Rotterdam, we will do our utmost to organise an unforgettable event for everybody involved. We would like to invite all hockey loving people in Europe to come and enjoy the EHL KO16 at HC Rotterdam.”

EHL Chairman Hans-Erik Tuijt added: “The EHL is of course very happy to come back to Rotterdam and welcome the KO16 in 2018. We have a brilliant venue that can hold up to 8,000 hockey fans and we hope spectators from all over Europe will follow their club and come to Rotterdam next Easter.”

Rotterdam’s Deputy Mayor of Sports Adriaan Visser responded enthusiastically to the EHL KO16 being granted to HC Rotterdam.

“With a multitude of players in our city – girls and boys, women and men – hockey is one of Rotterdam’s most popular sports. I’m convinced that next year’s EHL KO16 will not only be an exciting competition for Europe’s 16 strongest hockey clubs, but also an enormous promotion for hockey.

“In addition to our own HC Rotterdam, we’ll welcome the other 15 teams and their fans, the EHL organisation, sponsors and media to our city.”

EHF President Marijke Fleuren also welcomed the deal: “Of course, for us, it’s a privilege and honour to return to the club who has played such a great part in the EHL’s history in its first few years. I am already looking forward to the fantastic atmosphere from all the real hockey fans."

In order to welcome the clubs and their fans, HC Rotterdam have already set up a “Your Road to Rotterdam website” which details how everything you need to know about the venue, along with hotel packages and special deals.

Currently, 12 teams are already confirmed for the KO16 next Easter with SV Kampong, HC Rotterdam (both Netherlands), Mannheimer HC, Rot-Weiss Köln (both Germany), KHC Dragons, Herakles (both Belgium), Atlètic Terrassa, Real Club de Polo (both Spain), Holcombe (England), Three Rock Rovers (Ireland), Racing Club de France (France) and Dinamo Kazan (Russia) already confirmed for the event.

They will be joined by four more clubs who will battle through October’s ROUND1 in Barcelona where 12 clubs will battle it out in four groups. The winner of each group will book their place at the KO16 and the knock-out phases.
 
From the KO16 event in HC Rotterdam, each club will be hoping to win two out of two games, winning through to the FINAL4 and keep alive the chance to land the Alain Danet trophy. It promises to be another thrilling season of the world's best club hockey competition.

Original news article from EHL website.