Ahead of TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2022, Tanja Dik, Chief Executive of Johan Cruijff ArenA, discusses the return of Ajax fans to the stadium, as well as upcoming events at the venue.

TheStadiumBusiness: How is the reopening/return of fans going at Johan Cruijff ArenA?

Tanja Dik: Good, the last couple of months it’s been going smoothly. We are incredibly happy that we can welcome over 55,000 fans per event again. The sold-out football matches and upcoming concerts this summer and food and beverage revenue show that visitors are raring to go.

We have a great summer ahead with The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran and dance event Sensation on our calendar. Like everyone else, one of the bigger challenges at this moment is labour in general. In general, lessons learnt from the pandemic increased our already high level of innovation and challenging situations.

TSB: What’s on the roadmap over the next six to 12 months?

TD: We are focusing on maximising our stadium to the fullest. Our aim together with our partners is to build back better and welcome everyone back. Just before COVID hit, we had a huge upgrade of our stadium facilities which will bring the fan experience to an even higher level due to newly added business lounges and food and beverage areas.

Many lessons learnt from the last two years, from catering offerings to entrance protocols, can now fully be put into practice. Several innovations and COVID-related solutions have been tested in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. Our stadium, as part of the vibrant Amsterdam South-East, is a proven testing ground to help solve urban and societal challenges in the areas of ESG, mobility and crowd control, security, visitor engagement, and citizen wellbeing in an inclusive way following our sustainable development goals.

TSB: What are you looking forward to most about the Summit?

TD: Exchanging best practices regarding the (digital) customer journey, fan experience, innovative concepts and ecosystems supporting partnerships.


Image: Junpeng Ouyang on Unsplash

What are people saying?

You guys did a great job. Really enjoyed the programming and hospitality.

Scott Jenkins General Manager, Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The best conference I've ever attended!

Lee Zeidman President, STAPLES Center

Over the past decade you have done an incredible job to build this event. A truly international stage...

Jean Christophe Gileta President , Live Stadium

Thanks for putting on another great event. It exceeded expectations – both in terms of the quantity and quality – of conversations over the two days...

Business Development Director Sports and Entertainment, Oracle Hospitality

Another great eventy. Always nice to catch up with the industry – and get all those ideas flowing

Jacob Lauesen Director Brand Marketing & Development, F.C. København

Your conference is the industry benchmark. Any individual working in the industry has the opportunity to take away learnings for their own venue.

Nick Sautner CEO, Eden Park, New Zealand