Amsterdam Arena, the most modern arena at one time

Amsterdam ArenAAmsterdam ArenA 13.10.2015: The multi-purpose Amsterdam ArenA has a capacity of 53,000 and is thus the largest stadium in the Netherlands. And at the time of its construction it was considered to be the most modern stadium in the world. Originally, a new stadium in Amsterdam was designed as a venue for the 1992 Summer Olympics. In the end, the Netherlands were not awarded the Olympics, so the plans for construction of an athletics stadium were abandoned.

All effort then went into building a football-only stadium, and the first one in Europe with a retractable roof. Inside, the stadium is covered by colourful seats, which make a pattern going around all stands. The construction costs were about 140 million EUR, but back then, the guilder was the Dutch currency. The construction of a new stadium on the outskirts of Amsterdam began in November 1993 and in three years, in July 1996, the stadium was opened. In the first match held at the stadium in August 1996 AFC Ajax played AC Milan. The first grand event taking place at the Amsterdam Arena was the 1998 Champions League final between Juventus F.C. and Real Madrid (0:1).
 

The stadium was also one of the venues for the Euro 2000, co-hosted by the Netherlands and Belgium. Five matches were played at the Amsterdam Arena – three matches in the group stage, a quarter-final and a semi-final, in which the Netherlands were defeated by Italy on a penalty shoot-out. The final was played at De Kuip in Rotterdam. One of the most significant matches played at the Amsterdam Arena in the recent years is the 2013 UEFA Europa League final, in which Chelsea defeated Benfica Lisbon 2:1, scoring the second goal in the third minute of stoppage time.



Author: Jiri Vojkovsky | Foto: flickr.com

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