Johan Cruijff ArenA

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Program Partner Amsterdam Smart City

Since 1996, we have been involved in numerous leading projects and sports tournaments worldwide. We are proud to be internationally recognized as the specialists in venue development and management.


11 Organisation members

  • Jan Woering's picture
  • Karen Nitschke's picture
  • Freek van 't Ooster's picture
  • Maurits van Hövell's picture
  • Hilda Hofkamp's picture
  • Jeroen van Iersel's picture
  • Sander van Stiphout's picture
  • Henk van Raan's picture
  • Claire Sleijffers's picture


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Claire Sleijffers, Corporate Communications at Johan Cruijff ArenA, posted

Finalists for ArenA Change the Game Challenge announced

Out of more than 180 international submissions, 35 appealing innovations have been selected. These finalists stand a chance to be used by the two million visitors the Johan Cruijff ArenA hosts each year.

In collaboration with Ajax, the KNVB and ID&T, the Johan Cruijff ArenA mounted the Change the Game Challenge to develop new, innovative services for visitors. Companies from all over the world have submitted a variety of products and services designed to enhance the visitor’s experience.

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Claire Sleijffers, Corporate Communications at Johan Cruijff ArenA, posted

Change the Game! Ga jij deze uitdaging aan?

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De Johan Cruijff ArenA gaat, in samenwerking met Ajax en de KNVB, nieuwe, innovatieve diensten voor bezoekers ontwikkelen. Slimme innovaties moeten onder anderen zorgen voor extra beleving zoals exclusieve content bij een event, de kortste wachtrijen in het stadion tonen en de snelste weg naar je stoel wijzen. Bedrijven worden daarom uitgedaagd hun stadionoplossingen aan te melden. De meest aansprekende, state of-the-art concepten worden in de ArenA getest en vanaf 2019 aan bezoekers aangeboden.

De ArenA wil dat bezoekers optimaal en intensief kunnen genieten van een wedstrijd of event, ook op een afstand. Gedacht kan worden aan informatie op maat over het event, kaartverkoop, een zorgeloze reis en activiteiten voorafgaand en na een wedstrijd. Of een virtuele omgeving tijdens een event waar bezoekers ervaringen delen.

Een deel van de wedstrijden van het Nederlands elftal wordt in de ArenA gespeeld en de KNVB wil dat bezoekers, ook tijdens EURO 2020, een topavond hebben. Maar ook dat de kennis die wordt opgedaan ten goede komt aan de andere voetbalclubs in Nederland.

Naast de voordelen voor de bezoeker kunnen dergelijke diensten ook zorgen voor een efficiëntere en rendabele bedrijfsvoering zoals een optimale stoelbezetting, het sneller kunnen helpen van bezoekers en de ondersteuning van crowd-management. De geselecteerde oplossingen worden in een fieldlab-opzet met de verschillende partners in 2019 en 2020 geïmplementeerd en verder ontwikkeld in de ArenA.

Change the Game is een initiatief van de Johan Cruijff ArenA, Media Perspectives, Hogeschool van Amsterdam en TNO en mede gesubsidieerd door het Europese Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling van de Europese Unie. Als innovatiepartner is dit programma powered by KPMG. Innovatieve partijen kunnen zich tot eind maart 2019 aanmelden op

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Jan Woering, Manager at Johan Cruijff ArenA, posted

Innovation Tour at Johan Cruijff ArenA

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Our Innovation Tour will take you into the World of Innovations.

The Johan Cruijff ArenA is a host Stadium for the UEFA EURO 2020 and is one of the most Innovative and Sustainable Stadiums in the world. A Stadium is a place where people come together, for Leisure, Business or Sports. The Johan Cruijff ArenA is a mulitfunctional building that, with thousands of visitors at once, becomes a small, smart city during events. This makes the Johan Cruijff ArenA a perfect place for Innovation; the Stadium of tomorrow.

Our Innovation Tour will take you into the world of Innovations. we will show you how we've achieved becoming a sustainable, innovative stadium together with our partners.

During the Tour we will answer the following questions;

  • How do we create the best fan Experience?
  • How do we manage an event day with 55.000 people visit ArenA?
  • How do we get 55.000 people safe and, secure in and out the ArenA?
  • How do we use batteries from second hand cars for our energy?

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Claire Sleijffers, Corporate Communications at Johan Cruijff ArenA, posted

The 3 MegaWatt Energy Storage System in Johan Cruijff Arena is now live

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Today the largest European energy storage system using second-life and new electric vehicle batteries in a commercial building was made live. Amsterdam Alderman Udo Kock, deputy mayor for Finance and Economic Affairs (Amsterdam) conducted the official opening ceremony.

This unique project is the result of collaboration between Nissan, Eaton, BAM, The Mobility House and the Johan Cruijff ArenA, supported by the Amsterdam Climate and Energy Fund (AKEF) and Interreg.

The 3 megawatt storage system provides a more reliable and efficient energy supply and usage for the stadium, its visitors, neighbors and the Dutch energy grid. Combining Eaton power conversion units and the equivalent of 148 Nissan LEAF batteries, the energy storage system not only enables a more sustainable energy system, it also creates a circular economy for electric vehicle batteries.

“Thanks to this energy storage system, the stadium will be able to use its own sustainable energy more intelligently and, as Amsterdam Energy ArenA BV, it can trade in the batteries’ available storage capacity.” says Henk van Raan, director of innovation at the Johan Cruijff ArenA. “The ArenA is assured of a considerable amount of power, even during an outage. As a result, the stadium will contribute to a stable Dutch energy grid. The Johan Cruijff ArenA is one of the most sustainable stadiums in the world and leads the way in introducing smart innovations like this unique energy storage system.”

Flexible storage capacity
The energy storage system plays an important role in balancing supply and demand of energy in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. The storage system has a total capacity of 3 megawatt, enough to power several thousand households. This capacity also means that the energy produced by the 4,200 solar panels on the roof of the ArenA can also be stored and used optimally. The energy storage system will provide back-up power, reducing the use of diesel generators, and provide relief to the energy grid by flattening the peaks that occur during concerts.

Johan Cruijff ArenA
Johan Cruijff ArenA is an important player in the top league of international, multi-purpose stadiums. It is the home of AFC Ajax and the stage for the Dutch national team, big concerts, dance events and business meetings. Johan Cruijff ArenA welcomes more than two million visitors annually. Johan Cruijff ArenA makes it all about the audience experience. Together with its partners, Johan Cruijff ArenA offers top-level services and facilities, and is constantly working on creating an optimal fan experience in and around the stadium.

Amsterdam Innovation Arena
The stadium’s new energy storage system and related company, Amsterdam Energy ArenA BV, are concrete results of the innovation program managed by Amsterdam Innovation Arena, in which knowledge institutions, governments and companies such as BAM, Nissan, Eaton and The Mobility House are working on the stadium of the future.
The stadium and neighboring area function as a Living Lab; a hotspot for testing innovations in practice. Innovative concepts and ideas as well as proven solutions in the field of stadium construction, management and exploitation will find their way to stadiums, sports and recreational areas throughout the world via Johan Cruijff ArenA International. The partners in Amsterdam Innovation Arena are: Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam City Council, Amsterdam Smart City, TNO, KPN, KPMG, Huawei, Microsoft, Signify, Nissan, Eaton, Honeywell and BAM.

Claire Sleijffers's picture #Energy
Claire Sleijffers, Corporate Communications at Johan Cruijff ArenA, posted

Huawei and KPN launched drone-taxi at Johan Cruijff ArenA

Amsterdam Innovation Arena partners Huawei and KPN launched a drone-taxi for the first time in Europe on the specially adapted mobile 4G network in the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

Claire Sleijffers's picture News
Claire Sleijffers, Corporate Communications at Johan Cruijff ArenA, posted


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The Amsterdam ArenA is present at the RAI from September 14th until September 19th, at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), the world’s largest exhibition in the field of media and entertainment. Here the stadium together with partners demonstrates new technology, which provides additional experience for TeV viewers and stadium visitors during live events, such as football matches and concerts.

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Claire Sleijffers, Corporate Communications at Johan Cruijff ArenA, posted

Energy Storage System Project has been nominated for the Accenture Innovation Award

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Our Energy Storage System Project has been nominated for the Accenture Innovation Award! Vote for our innovation at The winner will be announced in October 2017.

By repurposing batteries from previously used electric vehicles, the xStorage Buildings system can draw energy from the grid, providing businesses with more control, better value and a more sustainable choice for their energy consumption.

Using 280 Nissan LEAF batteries, the system designed for the Amsterdam ArenA will be the largest energy storage system powered by second-life batteries used by a commercial business in Europe and will have four Megawatts of power and four Megawatts of storage capacity.

As well as providing vital back-up power services to the ArenA, xStorage Buildings also enables the Amsterdam ArenA to power the surrounding neighbourhood when necessary and protect the grid. The Mobility House, a technology company, will operate the xStorage Buildings system integrated at the Amsterdam ArenA. It will perform various energy services strengthening local grid stability while generating additional value for the Amsterdam ArenA.

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Claire Sleijffers, Corporate Communications at Johan Cruijff ArenA, posted

Amsterdam ArenA: Incubator for the city of the future

Say ‘Amsterdam ArenA’ and inevitably you mean ‘football stadium’. But the imposing structure in Amsterdam Zuidoost is far more than that. Henk van Raan, chief innovation officer at Amsterdam ArenA says: “It’s an incubator, a knowledge center and catalyst for innovations that will shape the city of the future.”


That is not just a meaningless statement. Amsterdam ArenA has been committed to sustainability and innovation for years. The ArenA implemented a multi-year plan entitled ‘ArenA: Vanzelfsprekend Duurzaam’ (‘ArenA: Naturally Sustainable') between 2010 and 2015 and that included several sustainable initiatives.

For example, the stadium now has 4,200 solar panels on the roof and uses Dutch wind energy to provide its remaining electricity needs. In addition, the ArenA is heated with urban heat from [the local suburb] Diemen and it is cooled with water from the [nearby lake] Ouderkerkerplas. Also, in recent years, the stadium decreased waste production by as much as 150,000 kg through working together with suppliers, tenants and visitors.

“Amsterdam ArenA is a public-private initiative.’ Van Raan explains: “In other words, the stadium was built with the help of social funding. Therefore, we feel a responsibility to the area and we want to return something to society.”

Sustainable innovation
Having made great progress in sustainability, in the past two years the stadium has been actively engaged in a new program: innovation. Van Raan: “In terms of the container concept ‘smart cities’, we were asked to accelerate the development of smart applications for Amsterdam city.”

Van Raan knows that such innovations are essential for world cities like Amsterdam, where pressure on facilities such as shops, public transport and infrastructure is only increasing: “Digitalization can play a major role in keeping cities livable in the future. That’s why there is a rising demand for sensors and smart applications.”

In the collaborative project that followed, the parties involved decided that all innovations important to the development of Amsterdam should first be tested in and around Amsterdam ArenA. The stadium also set up its own investment program, reserving € 50m for innovation and sustainability. Van Raan: “Our ambition is to be the world’s most innovative stadium by 2020, partly because in that year we will be one of the cities hosting the European Championships. We’re bucking the trend in our market in a big way: we’re not aiming to expand our stadium – which is the norm – we’re focusing on innovation.”

Acting as incubator for innovations in the field of digitization immediately enables Amsterdam ArenA to explore a new economy. Van Raan expects digitalization and the emergence of smart applications to bring about a major economic transition. “Digitization inevitably leads to a transition from ownership to service. Mobility-as-a-service, lighting-as-a-service, energy-as-a-service. Indeed, the future belongs to service.”


Creating Impact
Van Raan reckons that the deadline of 2020 is a good driver that will create a real impact. “It will happen because, by 2020, the ArenA must be the most innovative stadium in the world.” He adds: “Worldwide there are hundreds of initiatives happening in the field of smart cities, but so far all of them are still in pilot project stage. In Amsterdam ArenA, we’re stepping up to the next level.”

That’s why the stadium must be the ideal test ground for innovations in smart city applications. Van Raan: "We have a roadmap for developing innovations around in six themes: digital connectivity, fan experience, customer travel, safety & security, sustainability & circular economy and facility management. The prerequisite for innovations in all these themes is connectivity.”

Energy company
The first result of this innovation program is fast becoming impressive reality. In the Amsterdam ArenA car park, a 4 megawatt storage battery is under construction as we speak. The new storage battery will contain 280 recycled Nissan Leaf batteries. Due to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017, the battery will be deployed to support and stabilize the national grid at times of peak demand and supply. Besides that, the battery will enable the stadium to add another string to its bow and also go through life as Amsterdam Energy ArenA BV.

“Energy storage can lead to huge reductions in CO2 emissions,” says Van Raan. "Coal and gas stations have to run the whole day to meet a few peaks in demand or supply. But imagine if you could meet those peaks with energy stored in batteries: then you could switch off the coal power stations. That will be the core function of the storage battery we are building at the moment.”

Living lab
In addition, the battery will act as a living lab in the field of energy storage and smart grid applications. The storage battery is only the beginning, says Van Raan. “We’re using second-hand Nissan Leaf batteries, which are fairly limited. But cars of the future will have an active radius of at least 500 km. Effectively they will become mobile storage batteries that will be able to stabilize the grid if our parking facilities make that possible. This summer, the ArenA will begin installing the first ten charging stations that will allow electric cars to both recharge and return surplus energy to the grid.”

Van Raan illustrates the benefits with a bit of arithmetic: “If some 10 percent of the population is driving round in electric cars by the year 2020, then 10 percent of the parking in Amsterdam Zuidoost will have to facilitate that. This means that on a busy day 1,200 electric cars would be connected to the grid. Then we’d be talking about 32 megawatts of storage capacity. That would cover the energy demand for the whole district. We’re developing services of the future based on the storage battery.”

At the moment, Amsterdam ArenA is the first and only stadium to offer energy storage as a service. Van Raan expects that this won’t be the case for long. “We’re noticing that other big parties, both at home and abroad are also in a hurry to get started on this. People are coming to us from places like Washington and Singapore with the question: how are you doing it?”


Changing role
Initiatives like the storage battery are changing the role Amsterdam ArenA is playing in the surrounding region. “Our core business is and will always be hosting events, focusing on football,” says Van Raan. “But at the same time, we are increasingly becoming the incubator and driver of innovation and new developments in the field of sustainability and digitization. Our role in this is getting bigger the more knowledge and experience we gain.”

“Basically, a city is one big piece of hardware,” Van Raan adds. “The only way you find out how that hardware works and what improvements would be possible is by making yourself a part of it. By getting involved right in the middle of things. The ArenA has been active in Amsterdam Zuidoost for years. Now we’ve become a knowledge center in the field of multifunctionality, sustainability and innovation in the region. We've been working on it for several years now.”

Most sustainable and innovative stadium in the world
By 2020, Amsterdam ArenA has to be the most sustainable and innovative stadium in the world. According to Van Raan, the stadium is well under way to achieving this goal: “I think we’re making a positive mark, we’ve put ourselves on the map worldwide. At the same time, our ambitions for 2020 reach sky high. That means we have more than enough on our to-do list to make sure we succeed.” And the work on that to-do list is going well. For example, in two months’ time the stadium will have a 5G network), and this summer it will act as field lab for big data applications. External SME innovators can now use the ArenA to test drive big data innovations, which can improve business services. “So, we’ll keep on innovating. The role of field lab is another completely new departure for the Amsterdam ArenA,” concludes Van Raan.

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