The Netherlands biggest arena to get even bigger!


Johan Cruijff ArenA - January 2020 update Image: Johan Cruijff ArenA

The home stadium of the Dutch professional football club AFC Ajax based at Amsterdam in the Netherlands – Johan Cruijff ArenA – is all set to get even bigger. The 54,990 capacity stadium will get expanded by some 1,130 new seats. While the capacity can only grow so much, the facility’s image (particularly during broadcasts) will change fundamentally.

The biggest stadium of Dutch Eredivisie – the highest echelon of professional football in the Netherlands – is already big. Some 60 seats will be added in the new VVIP lounge.

The large-scale renovation project will lead to service improvements for stadium visitors.

It is the beginning of pre-Euro 2020 changes. The nod was given recently for filling all corners of the arena with seats. Those who are opposed to the expansion plan have six weeks to comment on the documentation, which means it’s available to the public.

While not of paramount importance, the development will surely be welcomed by the 1,000+fans who will be able to attend Ajax games. Since it became operational in 1996, the stadium has always been underlined by its vast, curved entrances in each corner. It was always viewed as occupying huge space in an arena which has got spatial issues. These will disappear now for good.

All four corners of the venue will have almost a similar layout. The colors included divide added seating in terms of kind of structure on which they are based. Dark blue seats will be added for good (and all) and the curvature of the present entry gates will be removed. The telescopic steel sections will comprise light blue seats which will be moved upwards when required to make way for trucks which will be carrying concert equipment when a musical performance is held. The demountable section comprising the purple seats will be removed entirely when trucks pass and will be put back in their original position when matches are on.

Work will start in the south-western corner of the venue first – extension of public concourses (lower tier and upper tier) and new Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cladding (east), substituting all seats to reflect the colors of Ajax and expansion of wheelchair platforms to over 250 (plus the same number for companions), which meets the UEFA norms for stadia of this size.

The supporters sitting in the upper tier will benefit from the development. The stadium’s appearance will undergo a total makeover – the shape of the Johan Cruijff ArenA will change from concave to convex. This will be the largest redecoration project since the facility opened in 1996.

Johan Cruijff ArenA and Ajax share a common goal. They have always had their objective clear – fans will get to enjoy the best stadium experience. To this end, some progress has been made in previous years – installation of escalators (2005), construction of a new main building (2013), rollout of a WiFi and 4G network (2014) and, partly as a result of the filling up of the moats by the long sides, expansion of the number of seats (2013 and 2015) to a capacity of over 53,000.

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