NS trains will skip Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA stop on Saturday; 4,000 parking spaces added
Roughly 4,000 extra parking spaces will be made available on Saturday for people planning to visit the area around the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam. These are necessary because trains will not stop at the nearby Bijlmer ArenA station starting at 4 p.m., while tens of thousands of people are expected in both the stadium and the Ziggo Dome.
The extra parking spaces will be available at the RAI and Amstel III, a spokeswoman for the municipality. The metros running on those routes will also be extended.
According to the NS, due to maintenance, a single track between Amsterdam and Utrecht is available. As a result, only two trains per hour can run on this route instead of eight, which is not enough for the many travelers who will want to go home from the ArenA area. As a result, the NS could not guarantee that everyone will be able to make it home. "Without intervention, this will lead to very unsafe situations for our travelers and colleagues on the trains and at the stations."
Earlier this month, trains skipped the station because of the crowds connected to the Formula 1 race in Zandvoort. That weekend, Ajax also had a home match at the stadium, and there were concerts at both Ziggo Dome and AFAS Live. On Saturday there will be a football match between Ajax and Go Ahead Eagles in the Johan Cruijff ArenA, in which tens of thousands of people are expected to attend. The band De Dijk will also perform a concert in the Ziggo Dome.
"We will do our utmost to inform the fans as best as possible," says Ziggo Dome director Danny Damman. "Everyone has received an email, and we are sharing all the information we have via the website." The Ziggo director also advised De Dijk concertgoers to download the ANWB traffic app. "Up-to-date information about the traffic situation in Amsterdam will be provided this way. We want to limit the nuisance to an absolute minimum as far as possible."
Ajax and the Johan Cruijff ArenA issued a joint statement this week to indicate their disappointment with the NS decision. "That is a bad thing; the Johan Cruijff ArenA and Ajax see the train as a basic facility, indispensable for supporters to be able to travel to the stadium in a reliable and sustainable way. It has been known for some time that more than 70,000 people will go to the stadium area on Saturday, 1 October, for events in the ArenA and the Ziggo Dome.”
The Ziggo Dome is already in talks with the NS about its approach to the Formula 1 weekend next year. "Concerts are also planned then, and there will probably also be football matches." Damman hopes to be notified earlier about the NS plans for that weekend.
“We want to be involved earlier, so that something like this only happens on days when no competitions or events take place," Ajax and the ArenA said this week.
Reporting by ANP