- Amsterdam ArenA
stadium_name = Amsterdam ArenA
coordinates = coord|52.3141|4.9419|display=inline
built = 1994–1996
August 14, 1996
Gemeente AmsterdamStadion Amsterdam N.V.
construction_cost = €140 million
structural engineer =
services engineer =
AFC Ajax(1996–present) Amsterdam Admirals(1996–2007)
seating_capacity = 51,628 seats (matches) 68,000 seats (
dimensions = 235 × 180 × 78 m
Amsterdam ArenA is a
stadiumin Amsterdam, Netherlands. The stadium was built from 1993 to 1996 at a cost of €140 million, and was officially opened on August 14, 1996. It has been used for association football, American football, concerts, and other events. The stadium has a retractable roofcombined with a grasssurface. It has a capacity of 51,628 seats during sports matches and 68,000 places during concerts.
The stadium is the home of the association football club
AFC Ajax(1996–present) and was the home of the now-retired American football club Amsterdam Admirals(1996–2007). It was one of the stadiums used during UEFA Euro 2000. Dutch and international artists gave concerts in the ArenA, such as André Hazesand The Rolling Stones. Every year the dance event Sensation is held in the stadium.
Amsterdam was one of six cities that bid to host the
1992 Summer Olympics. In 1986, a new Olympic stadium was designed, with a football field and an athletics track. It was to be built in the area of Strandvliet in Amsterdam Zuidoost. After Amsterdam lost the bid to Barcelonain October 1986, the plans for the new stadium were abandoned. In 1987, the Stichting Amsterdam Sportstad (English: "Amsterdam Sports City Foundation") was established, which made new plans for a sports stadium with an all-seated capacity of 55,000. In 1990, a new design was made based on both previous designs, with a football field, an athletics track, and completely covered by a roof. By this time, AFC Ajaxneeded a new stadium, because their old stadium De Meer no longer had sufficient capacity.nl icon [http://www.amsterdamarena.nl/filestore/?dl=258 The making of Amsterdam ArenA] . Amsterdam ArenA. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.]
Once more the design was altered: the athletics track was removed, the capacity was reduced to 50,000 seats, and the fixed roof was replaced by a
retractable roof. In 1992, the Government of Amsterdamauthorised the plans for the stadium with a "Transferium" where people could transfer from their car to various forms of public transportation. In 1993, the Government of Amsterdam changed the development plan of the location and gave a permit to build the stadium.
The first pile of the
deep foundationof the stadium was placed on November 26, 1993. The construction work would take almost three years. The highest point of the building was reached on February 24, 1995, after the roof construction was raised. The fly-over from the public road to the parking facilities was opened on March 13, 1996. The Amsterdam ArenA received 180,000 visitors during the construction work, until the stadium was closed from July 1, 1996until the opening ceremony. The Amsterdam ArenA was officially opened on August 14, 1996by Queen Beatrix. [nl icon [http://www.amsterdamarena.nl/over_amsterdam_arena/wist_je_dat/ Wist je dat...] . Amsterdam ArenA. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.]
The Queen opened the Amsterdam ArenA by making a curtain fall inside the stadium. This revealed the world's largest painting "De Zee" (English: "The Sea") of 80 × 126 metres. Two-dimensional ships were placed on the sea representing the clubs in the "
Eredivisie". Trijntje Oosterhuissang the hymn"De Zee", composed for the opening ceremony by John Ewbank. An eight-day torch relaywith 375 runners over 1400 kilometer through the Netherlands reached the stadium. The first runner was Johan Cruijffstarting in the old stadium De Meer, the last runner was Frank Rijkaardarriving in the new stadium Amsterdam ArenA. After the grass was revealed and the roof opened, an inaugural football match was played between AFC Ajax and AC Milan.
The construction of the Amsterdam ArenA cost €140 million.nl icon [http://www.amsterdamarena.nl/docs/pdf_facts_figures.pdf Facts & figures] . Amsterdam ArenA. Retrieved on
The stadium combines a retractable roof with a grass surface. This caused some problems in the beginning: the grass rolls would not grow in the shade of the open roof and had to be replaced up to four times a year.
Building and facilities
The Amsterdam ArenA is one of two stadiums in the Netherlands that is rated with five stars by
UEFA, the other being the Feijenoord Stadionin Rotterdam. [ [http://www.fussballtempel.net/uefa/4and5stars.html#stalis 5-star stadia] . Football temples of the world. Retrieved on 2008-06-09.]
The Ajax Museum is located in the stadium, which shows the more than 100 years of history of Ajax. [ [http://english.ajax.nl/web/show/id=49214 The Museum] . AFC Ajax. Retrieved on
The nearest train station is
Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA.
The inaugural match was between the home team Ajax and
AC Milanwhich ended in a 0-3 win by Milan. The first goal was scored by Dejan Savićević.
The stadium is the home of
AFC Ajaxin the " Eredivisie".
UEFA Champions League 1997-98final was played in the ArenA.
It was also one of the stadiums in
UEFA Euro 2000.
After the death of
Rinus Michelsin 2005, Ajax fans tried to convince the stadium's board to rebrand the stadium as the Rinus Michels Stadium. The board refused, however at every Ajax home game Ajax fans bring a large banner displaying the words 'Rinus Michels Stadion'.
The stadium was also the home of the
American footballteam Amsterdam Admirals, until the NFL Europaended its European competition in June 2007. [nl icon [http://www.nrc.nl/anp/sport/article731143.ece Admirals houdt op te bestaan] . NRC Handelsblad. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.] They played over 50 matches in the stadium from 1997 to 2007. [nl icon [http://www.amsterdamarena.nl/over_amsterdam_arena/wist_je_dat/ Wist je dat...] . Amsterdam Arena. Retrieved on 2008-06-08.] World Bowl IXwas played at the ArenA in 2001, when the Berlin Thunderdefeated the Barcelona Dragons.
Tina Turnerwas the first singer who gave a concert in the ArenA during her Wildest Dreams Tour, with more than 150,000 people attending the three sold-out concerts in September 1996. Whilst Michael Jacksonplayed five nights at the ArenA during the ' HIStory World Tourin 1996 and 1997 to over 250,000 fans.
Despite frequent complaints about the acoustics of the Arena, concerts are often held in the stadium. Stars such as
Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Céline Dion, George Michael, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Eminem, Robbie Williams, Andre Hazes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake, The Rolling Stones, Genesis, U2, Metallica, Madonna and The Policehave played the venue over the years.
The stadium is also host to dance event Sensation.
fullwidth = 2393
fullheight = 475
caption = Panoramic view of the ArenA during the warming up before the match between Ajax and NEC on
January 16, 2006
height = 200
* [http://www.amsterdamarena.nl/ Amsterdam ArenA website]
* [http://english.ajax.nl/web/show/id=49214 Ajax Museum]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.