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Johan Cruyff Arena

Coordinates: 52°18′51″N 4°56′31″E / 52.31417°N 4.94194°E / 52.31417; 4.94194
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Johan Cruyff Arena
“De Arena“ (The Arena)
Full nameJohan Cruijff ArenA
Former namesAmsterdam ArenA (1996–2018)
Stadion Amsterdam (projectname, 1993–1995)
LocationArenA Boulevard 1, 1101 AX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Coordinates52°18′51″N 4°56′31″E / 52.31417°N 4.94194°E / 52.31417; 4.94194
Public transitAmsterdam Bijlmer ArenA station, Strandvliet metro station
OwnerGemeente Amsterdam
Stadion Amsterdam N.V.
Executive suites76[2]
Capacity55,865 (2023)[1]
51,200 (Original)[2]
71,000 (Music concerts)
Record attendance55,076 Ajax - Excelsior Rotterdam 24 April 2024
Field size105 x 68 m
SurfacePlayMaster Hybrid Grass by Tarkett Sports
Opened14 August 1996; 27 years ago (1996-08-14)
Construction cost€140 million
AFC Ajax (1996–present)
Netherlands national football team selected matches (1996-present)
AFC Ajax Women selected matches (2015-present)
American Football
Amsterdam Admirals (1997–2007)

The Johan Cruyff Arena (Dutch: Johan Cruijff Arena [ˈjoːɦɑŋ ˈkrœyf aːˌreːnaː]; officially stylised as Johan Cruijff ArenA) is the main stadium of the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam and the home stadium of football club AFC Ajax since its opening. Built from 1993 to 1996 at a cost equivalent to €140 million,[3] it is the largest stadium in the country. The stadium was previously known as the Amsterdam Arena (stylised as Amsterdam ArenA) until the 2018–19 football season, when it was officially renamed in honour of Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff who died in 2016.[4][5][6]

It was one of the stadiums used during UEFA Euro 2000, and also held the 1998 UEFA Champions League Final and 2013 UEFA Europa League Final. The stadium also hosted three group stage matches and one match in the round of 16 of the UEFA Euro 2020.

Both international and Dutch artists have given concerts in the stadium, including Tina Turner, Coldplay, U2, Take That, Celine Dion, Madonna, Michael Jackson, André Hazes, David Bowie, AC/DC, Justin Timberlake, One Direction, the Rolling Stones, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Armin van Buuren. The dance event Sensation was held in the stadium every year, up until the final edition in 2017.

The stadium has a retractable roof and a grass surface. Since 2022, the stadium has a capacity of 55,865[1] during football matches, increased from 54,990.[2] The stadium has a capacity of 68,000 during music concerts if a center-stage setup is used (the stage in the middle of the pitch); for end-stage music concerts, the capacity is 50,000; and for music concerts for which the stage is located in the east side of the stadium, the capacity is 35,000. It held UEFA five-star stadium status, which was superseded by a new system of classification.


The Johan Cruyff Arena with the retractable roof opened and closed

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 Barcelona in 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 Ajax needed a new stadium, as their previous home ground, De Meer, was far too small for most of Ajax's games. Since the late 1960s, Ajax had moved its most important games to Olympisch Stadion.[7] Indeed, from the 1930s onward, Ajax had played most of their European fixtures and midweek night games at Olympisch Stadion.

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 Amsterdam authorised 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.[7]

The first pile of the deep foundation of the stadium was placed on 26 November 1993. The construction work, undertaken by Ballast Nedam and Royal BAM Group,[7] took almost three years. The highest point of the building was reached on 24 February 1995, after the roof construction was raised. The fly-over from the public road to the parking facilities was opened on 13 March 1996. The stadium received 180,000 visitors during the construction work, until the stadium was closed from 1 July 1996 until the opening ceremony.[7] The stadium was officially opened on 14 August 1996 by Queen Beatrix.[8]

At the grand opening, the queen made a curtain fall inside the stadium. This revealed the world's largest painting De Zee (English: The Sea) of 80 by 126 meters (262 ft × 413 ft). Two-dimensional ships were placed on the sea representing the clubs in the Eredivisie. Trijntje Oosterhuis sang the hymn "De Zee", composed for the opening ceremony by John Ewbank. An eight-day torch relay with 375 runners over 1400 km through the Netherlands reached the stadium. The first runner was Johan Cruyff starting in the old stadium De Meer, and the last runner was Frank Rijkaard arriving in the new stadium. After the grass was revealed and the roof opened, an inaugural football match was played between AFC Ajax and Milan, which Ajax lost 0–3.[citation needed] Tina Turner opened the stadium with three concerts with 160,000 people, from her world breaking Wildest Dreams Tour.

The construction of the stadium cost an equivalent of €140 million[3] (at the time, the currency of the Netherlands was the Dutch guilder).

The stadium combines a retractable roof with a grass surface. This caused some problems in the beginning: the turf's grass would not grow in the shade of the open roof and had to be replaced up to four times a year.[citation needed]

Exterior renovation[edit]

The Arena from outside (1996).

In September 2015, plans were presented to renovate the stadium's facade.[9] The renovation should provide better quality and service to visitors by widening the walkway rings around the stadium, creating more room for the visitors and for new facilities (the number of seats remains the same). As a result, the outside of the stadium transforms from a concave shape to a convex shape, drastically altering its appearance. The renovation was completed in 2020, when four matches of the UEFA Euro 2020 championship were played in the Arena.

Construction works started in June 2017.[10] The first phase is to renovate the east side of the stadium, where construction of the new facade was completed in April 2018.[11]

Name change[edit]

Former stadium logo until 2018

On 25 April 2017, it was announced that the Amsterdam Arena would be renamed to "Johan Cruijff Arena" in memory of Ajax legend Johan Cruyff.[12][13] Later that year, on 9 August, it was stated that the name change would take place on 25 October 2017.[14][15] However, this was postponed as that date proved to be infeasible due to the many matters that needed to be settled, such as arranging compensation for possible loss of income, transferring part of the shares from the municipality of Amsterdam to Ajax and having a discussion with the Cruyff family.[16][17]

On 5 April 2018, it was announced that the stadium would officially change name at the start of the 2018–19 football season.[4][5] The stadium's new logo was revealed on 25 April 2018, the birthday of Johan Cruyff.[18] According to the spokeswoman of Cruyff's family, the original Dutch spelling of his name (Cruijff) was chosen for the stadium's official name "to stay close to the Dutch Johan".[6] The 2018–19 football season started in August 2018.[19]

Building and facilities[edit]

The stadium's original architect is the Dutchman Rob Schuurman. The original all-seated capacity was 54,990.[2] After the 2019–20 season, but before Euro 2020, capacity was expanded by 660.[1][20] The final increased capacity after the 2017-2021 renovation project is 56,120,[1] an increase of 1,130. The original capacity during music concerts – the stadium's maximum capacity – is 68,000 visitors.[3] The parking capacity of the Transferium is 500 cars (inside); there are an additional 12,000 parking spots outside.[3]

The Johan Cruyff Arena is one of two stadiums in the Netherlands that is rated as Category 4 by UEFA, the other being the Feijenoord Stadion in Rotterdam.[21]

The Ajax Museum is located in the stadium, which shows Ajax's more than 120 years of history.[22]

The nearest train and subway (metro) station is Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena. The metro lines 50 and 54 (Amsterdam Central Station and city center) stop here.

Sporting events[edit]

Association football[edit]

The Arena in Ajax's Champions League game in 2019.

The stadium is the home of AFC Ajax in the Eredivisie and European matches.

The inaugural match on 14 August 1996 was a friendly between the home team Ajax and AC Milan, which ended with a 3–0 win for Milan. The first goal was scored by Dejan Savićević. The first Ajax goal was scored in the first competition match against NAC Breda by Kiki Musampa.

The 1998 UEFA Champions League Final when Real Madrid defeated Juventus by 1–0, was played in the stadium. It was also one of the venues in UEFA Euro 2000.

And the stadium was the host of the 2013 UEFA Europa League Final, when Chelsea defeated Benfica by 2–1.

It hosts often Dutch national team's international matches, though the Netherlands does not have one dedicated national stadium for football.

Since a friendly game in 2015, the stadium hosts regularly matches since 2023 of the AFC Ajax Women. The Klassieker home game against Feyenoord of that year was the first, with an attendance of 33,742 visitors. A year later the same game was played in the stadium aswel. And also the home games of the group stage of the 2023–24 UEFA Women's Champions League and the Quarter-final home game against Chelsea Women were venued at the stadium. The game against Chelsea saw a record attendance of 35,991 spectators for a women’s football game in the Netherlands.

In addition, the stadium hosted pre-season friendlies of Ajax 1 (men) or in the past aswel tournaments, like the Amsterdam Tournament or games of Ajax's reserve team.

Euro 2000[edit]

Date Team 1 Result Team 2 Round
11 June 2000  Netherlands 1–0  Czech Republic Group D
18 June 2000  Slovenia 1–2  Spain Group C
21 June 2000  France 2–3  Netherlands Group D
24 June 2000  Turkey 0–2  Portugal Quarter-finals
29 June 2000  Netherlands 0–0 (a.e.t.)
(1–3 p)
 Italy Semi-finals

Euro 2020[edit]

The stadium hosted three group stage matches and one round of 16 match at the UEFA Euro 2020, which was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.

Date Team 1 Result Team 2 Round Attendance
13 June 2021  Netherlands 3–2  Ukraine Group C 15,837[23]
17 June 2021 2–0  Austria 15,243[24]
21 June 2021  North Macedonia 0–3  Netherlands 15,227[25]
26 June 2021  Wales 0–4  Denmark Round of 16 14,645[26]

American football[edit]

The stadium was home of the American football team Amsterdam Admirals of the NFL Europe, until the National Football League (NFL) ended its European competition in June 2007.[27] The team played over 50 matches in the stadium from 1997 to 2007.[8] World Bowl IX was played at the Arena in 2001, when the Berlin Thunder defeated the Barcelona Dragons.


As kickboxing is a popular combat sport in the Netherlands, the It's Showtime and K-1 promotions have held a number of fight cards at the arena. Many of the sport's biggest stars such as Peter Aerts, Semmy Schilt, Badr Hari and Ernesto Hoost have fought there.[28]

Music events[edit]

British rock band Coldplay performing at the stadium, as part of their A Head Full of Dreams Tour, in June 2016.

Dutch music group De Toppers have played annually at the venue since 2005. In total, they have sold out more than 50 concerts; no other act has performed at the stadium that many times. The arena was listed as a potential venue in Amsterdam's bid to host the 65th Eurovision Song Contest. However, the city later withdrew its bid due to venues, including the Johan Cruyff Arena, being fully booked.[29][30]

Entertainment events held at the Johan Cruyff Arena
Year Date Artists Tour Supporting Acts Attendance Box Office Ref.
6 September Tina Turner Wildest Dreams Tour
7 September
8 September
28 September Michael Jackson HIStory World Tour [31]
30 September
2 October
8 June
10 June
18 June Celine Dion Falling into You: Around the World
29 June The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon Tour Dave Matthews Band 261,277 / 261,277 $11,094,308
1 July
2 July
5 July
6 July
5 June Backstreet Boys Into the Millennium Tour
14 June Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love World Tour 64,652 / 64,652 $3,048,136
5 June Bon Jovi One Wild Night Tour
6 June
3 June Bon Jovi Bounce Tour
17 July Robbie Williams Weekends of Mass Distraction
18 July
19 August The Rolling Stones Licks Tour
22 September
11 June David Bowie A Reality Tour
13 July U2 Vertigo Tour The Killers
Snow Patrol
Kaiser Chiefs
The Music
165,516 / 165,516 $13,022,200
15 July
16 July
21 June Robbie Williams Close Encounters Tour
22 June
24 June
25 June
31 July The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang Tour Toots and the Maytals
3 September Madonna Confessions Tour Paul Oakenfold 102,330 / 102,330 $11,783,254
4 September
16 June Justin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveShow
1 July Genesis Turn It On Again: The Tour 52,622 / 52,622 $3,819,127
2 June Celine Dion Taking Chances World Tour 46,969 / 52,772 $4,565,126
13 June Bon Jovi Lost Highway Tour 34,512 / 34,512 $2,817,625
18 June Bruce Springsteen Magic Tour 36,257 / 36,529 $4,370,497
2 September Madonna Sticky & Sweet Tour Robyn 50,588 / 50,588 $6,717,734
11 October Kinderen voor Kinderen Kinderen voor Kinderen Mega Spektakel
23 June AC/DC Black Ice World Tour The Answer
Drive Like Maria
50,541 / 50,541 $4,361,233
20 July U2 U2 360° Tour Snow Patrol 125,866 / 125,866 $12,583,998
21 July
18 July Take That Progress Live
4 June Muse The 2nd Law World Tour Biffy Clyro
13 July Robbie Williams Take the Crown Stadium Tour
8 September Roger Waters The Wall Live 47,414 / 47,500 $4,257,133
24 June One Direction Where We Are 5 Seconds of Summer 103,551 / 103,551 $7,859,850
25 June
17 June Rihanna Anti World Tour Big Sean
DJ Mustard
50,513 / 50,932 $3,525,469
23 June Coldplay A Head Full of Dreams Tour Lianne La Havas
Alessia Cara
104,511 / 104,511 $8,759,000
24 June
16 July Beyoncé The Formation World Tour Chloe x Halle
49,436 / 49,436 $4,712,051 [32]
13 May Armin van Buuren Eller van Buuren
Gavin DeGraw
Mr. Probz
Trevor Guthrie
29 July U2 The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds 104,708 / 104,708 $11,544,870
30 July
30 September The Rolling Stones No Filter Tour De Staat 54,791 / 54,791 $8,762,079
19 June Beyoncé
On the Run II Tour DeeJay Abstract 97,869 / 97,869 $9,755,499 [33]
20 June DJ Flava
11 June Metallica WorldWired Tour Ghost
50,576 / 50,576 $5,151,429
7 July The Rolling Stones Sixty Ghost Hounds 51,592 / 51,592 $9,241,437
14 July Ed Sheeran +–=÷× Tour Maisie Peters
Cat Burns
134,119 / 134,119 $8,611,476
15 July
27 April Metallica M72 World Tour Architects
Mammoth WVH
29 April Ice Nine Kills
Floor Jansen
25 May Bruce Springsteen
E Street Band
2023 Tour
27 May
4 June Harry Styles Love On Tour Wet Leg
5 June
6 June
17 June Beyoncé Renaissance World Tour 97,657 / 97,657 $12,817,577 [34][35]
18 June
23 June The Weeknd After Hours til Dawn Tour Kaytranada
Mike Dean
103,181 / 103,181 $10,066,993
24 June
15 July Coldplay Music of the Spheres World Tour Griff
Zoë Tauran
267,180 / 267,180 $30,322,573
16 July
18 July
19 July
2024 9 June Burna Boy I Told Them Tour
4 July Taylor Swift The Eras Tour Paramore
5 July
6 July
10 July Pink Pink Summer Carnival Gayle
The Script
11 July

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d (in English)"Ajax's Johan Cruyff Arena growing to 56,120 capacity". sportspromedia. 17 March 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "Houd je spreekbeurt over de Johan Cruijff ArenA". Johan Cruijff ArenA. Archived from the original on 22 August 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Facts & figures" (PDF) (in Dutch). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Amsterdam ArenA wordt officieel Johan Cruijff ArenA" (in Dutch). Amsterdam Arena. 5 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Amsterdam ArenA wordt officieel Johan Cruijff ArenA" (in Dutch). Ajax. 5 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Familie Cruijff blij dat naamsverandering Arena eindelijk een feit is" (in Dutch). Nu.nl. 5 April 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d (in Dutch) The making of Amsterdam ArenA Archived 30 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine Amsterdam ArenA. Retrieved 8 June 2008
  8. ^ a b (in Dutch) Wist je dat.... Amsterdam ArenA. Retrieved 8 June 2008
  9. ^ "Amsterdam ArenA presenteert nieuwbouwplannen" (in Dutch). Amsterdam Arena. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Verbouwing Johan Cruijff Arena is van start" (in Dutch). Het Parool. 27 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Ruwbouw oostzijde Amsterdam ArenA klaar" (in Dutch). Amsterdam Arena. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Amsterdam Arena wordt Johan Cruijff Arena" [Amsterdam Arena becomes Johan Cruijff Arena]. nos.nl (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 25 April 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Amsterdam ArenA wordt Johan Cruijff ArenA" (in Dutch). Ajax Amsterdam. 25 April 2017.
  14. ^ "Thuishaven Ajax heet vanaf eind oktober officieel Johan Cruijff ArenA" (in Dutch). Voetbalzone. 9 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Johan Cruijff Arena op 25 oktober eindelijk een feit" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. 9 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Officiële naamswijziging Johan Cruijff Arena uitgesteld" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. 19 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Officiële naamswijziging Johan Cruijff Arena uitgesteld" (in Dutch). AT5. 19 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Logo Johan Cruijff Arena onthuld door Frank Rijkaard" (in Dutch). Nu.nl. 25 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Aftrap seizoen 2018/'19 in Eredivisie op 10 augustus" (in Dutch). KNVB. 22 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Vier wangen Johan Cruijff Arena gaan nog voor einde seizoen 'dicht'". Supportersvereniging Ajax (in Dutch). 15 November 2019. Archived from the original on 30 May 2020. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  21. ^ List of UEFA Category 4 Stadiums World Stadium Database. Retrieved 4 August 2018
  22. ^ The Museum Archived 17 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine AFC Ajax. Retrieved 9 June 2008
  23. ^ "Full Time Summary – Netherlands v Ukraine" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 13 June 2021. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  24. ^ "Full Time Summary – Netherlands v Austria" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  25. ^ "Full Time Summary – North Macedonia v Netherlands" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 21 June 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  26. ^ "Full Time Summary – Wales v Denmark" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 26 June 2021. Retrieved 26 June 2021.
  27. ^ (in Dutch) Admirals houdt op te bestaan NRC Handelsblad, 29 June 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2008
  28. ^ "Fear and Loathing in Amsterdam" by Michael Schiavello Archived 28 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine. Hd.net.
  29. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (24 May 2019). "Eurovision 2020: The potential host cities and venues". ESCToday. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  30. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (4 July 2019). "Eurovision 2020: Amsterdam drops out of the Host City race". ESCToday. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  31. ^ HIStory World Tour – Tour Dates Archived 2 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Mjbaltic.com.
  32. ^ "Billboard Boxscore :: Current Scores". Billboard. 9 August 2016. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  33. ^ "Current Boxscore | Billboard". Billboard. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  34. ^ "2023 Top 25 European Grosses" (PDF). Pollstar. 12 December 2023. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 December 2023. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  35. ^ "Chart Scene: Beyoncé Debuts On LIVE75 With European Tour - Pollstar News". 14 July 2023. Retrieved 5 September 2023.

External links[edit]