AJAX - Arena, Amsterdam
I went to my very first European professional football (soccer) game in Amsterdam. I have travelled to Europe many times before but for some reason never took in a football game despite the fact that I am quite fond of the game.
I was directed by the tourist office to where I could pick up tickets and found this to be quite easy. They cost me about $40.00US and to be honest they were not that good. However I did enjoy the game which Ajax won 2-0 against RBC. I also found the stadium, Amsterdam ArenA to be quite interesting. It was brand new and spotless clean. Supposedly the roof closes just like my own Skydome in Toronto. Also of interest is that the stadium is build well above the ground instead of into the ground as in the way most modern stadiums are built. I assume this is because of the marshy soil that surrounds Amsterdam. A good idea since it can get rather wet in Amsterdam. Too bad that McDonalds holds the consession rights.
The Amsterdam ArenA is the official home of the famous Ajax Football Club in Amsterdam, its is however also used for a number of other things such as Nederlands National Soccer team ( Oranje), American football and music concerts, to probably name but a few. It's not too far from the centrum and is served by two train stations, Duivendrecht railway station is about 15 minutes from the Arena, whilst the Bijlmer station is only 5 minutes away ( This station was being renovated - not sure if it's all finished yet). The ArenA is an impressive place to watch sports, I visited it to see my team Celtic defeat Ajax in it during a champions league qualifier, the design is pretty stunning with what appears to be a highway going directly underneath the playing surface.
The Amsterdam Arena, an all-weather stadium with a sliding roof which can be closed in 35 minutes, was built in the mid-1990s in preparation for Holland's hosting of the Euro 2000 soccer tournament. It is now the home stadium of Holland's most famous football team, Ajax, who achieved the rare feat in the early 1970s of winning the European Cup three years in a row. Stadium tours last about an hour and take you into the stands and behind the scenes to the press gallery, interview rooms and hospitality suites. The Ajax museum has film of the home team's great cup wins.
The Amsterdam ArenA is home to AFC Ajax, four times winners of the European Cup and a club with plenty of history of playing beautiful "Total Football", meaning in its roughest sense that every player is totally comfortable with the ball and can play in any postion on the pitch.
Past famous players Johan Cruff and Marco Van Basten
It was opened in August 1996 and was the first European football stadium to have a sliding roof. It takes about 18 minutes to close. It is an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 52,960.
I went for my first visit to watch Ajax play Manchester United on 16 February 2012. It was the Europa League KO32 1st leg. United won the match 2-0.
I couldn't get a ticket in the United, away section and so got a ticket with the Ajax fans in the home section. This wasn't a problem, as many other United fans had the same idea and even so, the dutch fans were very friendly.
The stadium is easy to get to, via a short train ride fro the central station and getting into the ground caused no problems. A decent scarf was bought outside at one of the many stalls.
I grew up watching the football of Ajax in the 70`s,players such as Johaan Cruyff,Ruud krol,then Marco van Basten,sheer class.Then perhaps one of the finest players ever to grace the English game...Dennis Bergkamp,who now plays for Arsenal.The traditions of Dutch football many other teams have tried to copy,not many have suceeded.
Equipment: Bring your camera,but being Vters,when are we ever without them !!!
The stadium of Ajax is one of the few interesting sportpalaces of the capital of Holland.
The stadium opened in 1995 and has a capacity of 51.000 seats.
Besides footballclub Ajax is it used for matches of American Football club Amsterdam Admirals or big concerts.
Equipment: The prices in the stadium are to high and you need to buy a sort of chipcard to pay your food and drinks. This card will cost you at least ? 10,- and it is not reloadable; and thats a big shame.
One of the finast and most exciting football clubs in Europe is Ajax Amsterdam.
It is Ajax Amsterdam that brought us those wonderful players as Johan Cruyff, Marco Van Basten and many others.
The stadium seats some 52,000 spectators and has a retractable roof. Sadly when we visited the stadium they were preparing for a show by "Toppers". In addition to the stadium there is the Ajax museum.
The tour was, I have to admit, rather disappointing. It may have been due to the stadium being getting set up to host a show or the fact that the tour was inundated with an under 14's English football team on a Holland tour.
The show that was being prepared for was "Toppers in Concert".
It was my friend Tony's 60th birthday and we (the two of us and our wives) were going to Amsterdam for a long weekend. Arsenal were playing in a pre-season tournament at the Ajax stadium along with Panathinaikos and River Plate. I treated my friend to a ticket for the Ajax v Arsenal game. We were staying in a new Ibis hotel, Amsterdam-Westcorner at Sloterdijk, just outside Amsterdam. Getting to the ground was easy, using the overground light railway straight to the ground without changes. Security going into the stadium was sensible and quick. Our biggest problem was getting to our seats, quite high up in the stadium... we were almost on our knees as we reached the top of the almost endless stairs. The atmosphere and entertainment within the stadium was excellent... lots of music and singing, and at half-time a radio-controlled balloon was flown over the terraces and dropped numbered ping-pong balls which the spectators could catch and use to claim a prize on the sponsor's website. There was also a compressed-air cannon that was pushed around the perimeter of the pitch and used to fire gifts into the crowd. The pitch itself is surrounded by a dry moat, so any balls kicked into the crowd stayed there as a gift for whoever was lucky enough to catch them. A nice ground with easy access and a good atmosphere, no feeling of being an outsider or feeling threatened - the only disappointment was a goalless draw!
Ajax Amsterdam, rich with football history and still enriching the pitces around the world. The best players come from Amsterdam and so they will go on. Grab a game in the futuristic Arena stadium, in which 60,000 fans can be seated. And witness the bold playing style of Amsterdam dareness...
A club who has made players like Kluivert, Davids, Bergkamp, Litmanen, de Boers brothers, Seedorf, Overmars, Kanu, Finidi to mention a few of the later stars that played for the Red&White.
One of the worlds greatest player ever is the inimitableCryuff who is set as the standard of the Ajax style.
Amsterdam Arena is definately worth checking out! I have been fortunate enough to see many great stadia along the lines of Camp Nou, Old Trafford, the old Wembley, Toronto Skydome, Le Stade De France and many others. The Amsterdam Arena ranks right up there with the best. We arrived at the complex on a Saturday, whilst the team were playing an away match. We took the tour around the stadium, but unfortunately the museum was closed. Never the less, it was a great experience, and the scale of the place was huge! The colouring of the seats left a little to be desired, but the tour guide was very informative and helpful, and even gave us all a CD of Ajax songs each. To be fair, the CD was rubbish, but they do say that it's the thought that counts!
These are just a few of the sights you can see in the museum,its a must for any fan of football.
4 times Champions League winners, 29 times Dutch League champion (and still counting...).
Ajax is one of the "big three" clubs in the Netherlands.
These are a few of the trophies Ajax have won over the past 30 years.Including The European Cup and UEFA Cup.