Olympic Stadium AmsterdamGames Venue 1928
The Olympic Stadium (Dutch: Olympisch Stadion) was built as the main stadium for the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. The first event at the stadium was the start of the 1928 Olympic hockey tournament on 17 May 1928.
When completed, the stadium had a capacity of 31,600. Following the completion of the rival De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam in 1937, the Amsterdam authorities increased the capacity of the Olympic Stadium to 64,000 by adding a second ring to the stadium. AFC Ajax used the Olympic Stadium for international games until 1996, when the Amsterdam Arena was completed. In 1987 the stadium was listed as a national monument. Renovation started in 1996, and the stadium was refurbished into the original construction of 1928. The second ring of 1937 was removed, reducing capacity to 22,288, and the stadium was made suitable for track and field competitions again.
Since 2005, the stadium is home to a sports museum, the Olympic Experience Amsterdam. It is no longer used as a football stadium.
Use after the Olympic Games
The stadium hosted several international matches of the Dutch national football team, the first one being the game against Uruguay (0–2) during the Summer Olympics on 30 May 1928. The last one was a friendly on 6 September 1989 against Denmark (0–2).
After the Olympics, the stadium was used regularly for various sporting events, including athletics, speedway, field hockey and cycling. The 1954 Tour de France, for example, started outside the stadium. However, it was football that remained the most popular. It was both the home ground of Blauw Wit FC and BVC Amsterdam (later merged into FC Amsterdam), while AFC Ajax used the stadium for games in which the crowd was expected to exceed the capacity of its own De Meer Stadion, or for midweek games which required the use of floodlights, with which the De Meer was not initially suited. Ajax continued this arrangement until the completion of the Amsterdam ArenA in 1996.
The Amsterdam Admirals played their inaugural season in the World League of American Football in 1995, and the 1996 season, at the stadium, prior to moving to the Amsterdam ArenA.
The stadium will host the 2016 European Athletics Championships. Because of this, an athletics track was added to the plan for the nearby Park Schinkeleilanden at the last moment. The athletics track in that nearby park, which could be a warming up track when using the main track in the Olympic Stadium for racing, was opened in 2008. The stadium also serves as the start and finish of the Amsterdam Marathon, held every October.