Amsterdam residents against Ajax party on Museumplein
Last week Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema said that she will consider holding a celebration on the Museumplein should Ajax win the Champions League. But the people who live around the square are against such a party. "Unfortunately, at this time the Museumplein can no longer handle this party", residents' association Vereniging Buurtbelang Museumplein said in a letter to the mayor, Het Parool reports.
The letter is signed by six board members of the association. Exactly how many residents the association represents, is not clear.
Ajax is currently in the semi-finals of the Champions League. The Amsterdam team won the first semi-final match against Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 in London last week. The return will be played in the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam on Wednesday. Tickets for the match are already sold-out.
If Ajax wins the Champions League, and the mayor agrees to hold he celebration on Museumplein, it will be the first such event since 2011. In that year an Ajax celebration party turned into major riots. Multiple people were injured, dozens were arrested, and almost half a million euros worth of damage was done to the Stedelijk Museum, according to the newspaper. Since then, all Ajax celebrations have been held on the lawn next to the Johan Cruijff Arena.
The local residents' association fears that this party will end in the same way as the one in 2011. They point out that such an event on the Museumplein can only be held safely if far-reaching and drastic measures are taken, such as banning all bars around the square from selling alcohol, and limiting local residents' freedom of movement.
"These are freedom restrictions that go too far for the organization of a party, especially if a reasonable alternative such as the Johan Cruijff Arena is available", the association said. They fear that at such a party "the number and euphoria of the visitors will turn out to be totally unmanageable, resulting in dangerous situations". The local residents urge Halsema to abandon the idea of a celebration party on the Museumplein.