NS issues stark warning for 3 Sept. over Ajax, Formula 1, and sold-out concerts
Dutch railway NS is telling people not to take the train during the afternoon hours of 3 September if they intend to travel to or from the area around the Johan Cruijff ArenA. The NS expects massive crowds that day because Ajax will play against SC Cambuur that day in the ArenA. In addition, Kensington will play a sold-out concert in the Ziggo Dome, while Yade Lauren will play to a capacity crowd at AFAS Live.
On top of that, the NS will be transporting Formula 1 fans to and from Zandvoort for the events around the Dutch Grand Prix.
Starting at about 2:15 p.m., trains will completely bypass scheduled stops at several stations, including Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA, Holendrecht and in some cases Duivendrecht. Train service to and from these stations will resume at 8:30pm.
The area will remain accessible by metro. Rescheduling the football match turned out to be impossible. As a result, the NS announced that it was not able to guarantee the safety of travelers at Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA station.
"Just as the football match ends, the trains around the ArenA area will be full of F1 fans on their way home," the NS speculated. The transport company is not able to run extra trains or make additional stops to relieve the pressure.
It is extraordinary that no trains can run "due to one event elsewhere in the country," Ajax said. "We are concerned about what this means for organizing future events in the ArenA." The Amsterdam club announced that it will communicate with over 50,000 people who have bought a ticket for the game, so that they can arrive at the match on time.
Supporters of SC Cambuur also announced earlier this week that they are going to boycott the match against Ajax out of dissatisfaction with the actions of security and the police in Amsterdam in the past.
The Ziggo Dome finds the decision by the NS "too ridiculous for words,” director Danny Damman said in response to questions. "We have a big problem," said Damman. "I'm not talking about the fans, but also about the enormous amount of flex staff that we use and who are now unable to reach the Ziggo Dome." The Ziggo Dome has already held intensive consultations with the NS in recent weeks, but in vain. "I don't understand why the NS is making this choice and puts concert and football fans at a disadvantage."
Ziggo Dome will try to move a bad situation in the right direction, together with AFAS Live and the Johan Cruijff ArenA. "We are going to try to inform everyone as best as possible about the situation, that is all we can do. But that this will lead to big, big problems if all the people who would have come by train now take the car," said Damman.
Melanie van der Horst, the Amsterdam alderman in charge of the issue from a political standpoint, said in response, "On these kind of busy days with multiple events that attract many visitors, accessibility is always a challenge. Now that NS has decided that visitors cannot take the train to travel via Bijlmer Arena Station, it will become even more difficult to get all visitors in and out of the area quickly."
The alderman said she is working hard on alternative travel options, "by using extra metros and by creating extra parking.”
Reporting by ANP