In the first stage of the project, the ground will see 880 extra seats to be added in the corners of the venue, in preparation for the 2020 UEFA European Championship national team soccer tournament (Euro 2020). Amsterdam has been selected as one of the host cities, with the Johan Cruyff Arena set to host three group games and one round of 16 game. For the first time in the competition’s 60-year history, it will be held across the European continent with 12 host cities in total.
According to sports venue news outlet Coliseum, the larger renovation project will ultimately add 1,130 seats to the 54,990-capacity venue, with 60 of those coming in the VIP Lounge and additional wheelchair accommodation added to comply with UEFA regulations. In what will be the largest redevelopment of the venue since it opened in 1996, the overall shape of the arena will switch from concave to convex.
Ajax does not own the Johan Cruyff Arena, but the club’s Managing Director, Edwin van der Sar, said they are interested in increasing their involvement in the running of the venue.
“We are currently in consultation with the municipality,” Van der Sar explained to Ajax Life.
“Agreements have been made in the context of naming. We are looking into whether we can increase our interest by acquiring certificates from the municipality.
“We play in a beautiful stadium, with beautiful red seats, where the name Ajax is prominent. And the grass – most important to us – also makes steps. I’m not saying we don’t want this. If there are opportunities that give Ajax a higher budget to move on to a higher plan in Europe, we will be keen on that.”
Ajax currently sit top of the Dutch top flight Eredivisie, three points ahead of second placed AZ Alkmaar after 20 rounds played.
Portugal are the defending champions of the Euros, when they secured a 1-0 win after extra time against France in 2016.