When the stadium was built over 25 years ago, an Amsterdammertje was buried near the centre spot. The Zilveren Amsterdammertje represents the ArenA’s silver jubilee.
Femke Halsema, Mayor of Amsterdam: “The Johan Cruijff ArenA is iconic for the city of Amsterdam and we are extremely proud of it. From the very outset, our beautiful stadium has been the benchmark for others, both domestically and internationally. Millions of people visit it each year to enjoy fantastic football, major concerts and other stunning events. It is innovative, distinctive, entrepreneurial and committed to its surroundings. For the past 25 years, the ArenA and the municipality have been cooperating successfully to realise economic and social development in Amsterdam and the Zuidoost region in particular. And we will continue this partnership. I would thus like to congratulate the ArenA!”
25 years ArenA
The ArenA will mark its 25th anniversary on 14 August. The home of AFC Ajax and the national team, and a stage for the biggest artists and dance events, has welcomed over 40 million visitors in 25 years’ time. Since 2018, the stadium has been proudly referred to as the Johan Cruijff ArenA.
Besides many of Ajax’s Eredivisie matches, the ArenA has also hosted memorable Champions League clashes, countless national team matches and the European Championships on two separate occasions (2000 and 2021). International artists like Madonna, Robbie Williams, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, U2, The Rolling Stones and Coldplay have all performed there. It is where very successful events like Sensation was born.
Many exceptional events have taken place in the ArenA and become part of the country’s history. The funeral ceremony of André Hazes, a famous Dutch artist, the party to commemorate the royal wedding between King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima as well as Ajax’s thirtieth title success following a scintillating match with FC Twente in 2011. That is the moment when the ArenA truly became home for Ajax supporters.
As soon as it was opened in 1996, the ArenA became an iconic location, one of the most multi-functional stadiums in the world and the first European stadium with a retracting roof. But the stadium also encountered a few teething problems, like issues with the pitch and the acoustics. However, the ArenA was able to emerge stronger from these challenges: thanks to an entrepreneurial spirit and innovative solutions, the ArenA has become a role model for stadiums throughout the world. In addition, the ArenA has played a major role in the economic and social development of Amsterdam and the Southeast region.
The ArenA also serves as a multi-functional setting for meetings (particularly) in the business sector. These activities are organised in close collaboration with various partners. High-quality services, state-of-the-art facilities, safety and maximum public enjoyment are the main strategic cornerstones.