Up to 55,000 can attend World Cup viewing parties at Amsterdam stadium
Thousands of Dutch men’s football fans will be able attend World Cup viewing parties which will be organized in Amsterdam. The group stage matches of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will mainly be screened at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, where up to 55,000 fans will be able to attend. Entertainment will be organized prior to the match, with a “spectacular half-time show” planned during the contests, Dutch football association KNVB announced.
The first match will actually be shown at a different Amsterdam venue, AFAS Live. The smaller concert hall seating 4,000 people will be used because the match against Senegal will take place at 11 a.m. on November 21, a Monday morning. That match will actually open the entire tournament.
Viewing parties for all following matches will happen at the ArenA. That includes the group stage match against Ecuador at 5 p.m. on November 25, and the 4 p.m. match four days later against Qatar. Should Oranje advance, all Dutch knockout matches will also be screened at the ArenA. The musicians expected to perform during the Amsterdam events have not been announced, but the KNVB promised “an unforgettable show with top artists.”
The KNVB selected indoor venues for the parties because of the unpredictable weather during this year’s World Cup. The 2022 edition of the tournament was moved from the summer to the winter because of the climate in the host country, when it could be cold, rainy, windy in the Netherlands. The awkward timing also made it difficult for fans to schedule a trip to Qatar, while others have voiced grave concerns over human rights abuses in the country. The country’s hotels are also expected to shun gay couples and people with diverse sexual orientations and genders.
Enthusiasm for Oranje tickets to the actual matches has been limited, noted newswire ANP. The KNVB has only sold about 4,000 tickets thus far.
The organization said it is the first time World Cup viewing parties of this scale have been organized in the Netherlands. “With the same Oranje party atmosphere as always, but with an even bigger approach and with a roof over our heads," said the KNVB’s commercial director, Jean Paul Decossaux.
"During the World Cup in Brazil, I noticed that we did not get much out of the Oranje Madness going on in the Netherlands,” said manager Louis van Gaal. “I thought that was a shame, because all support for the team is welcome.” Van Gaal, who has been critical of the decision to award Qatar with the tournament, said he hoped videos from the Netherlands would give his players “an extra boost.”
“The Netherlands may be a small country, but Oranje fans are known for making it a big party all over the world,” the KNVB said.
Oranje ClubCard holders will get the first crack at tickets when sales begin on Thursday at noon. Remaining tickets will be sold to the general public starting on June 22 at noon.