Creative thinkers and innovative entrepreneurs 

The Amsterdam ArenA, the largest stadium in the Netherlands, is inviting creative thinkers and innovative entrepreneurs to contribute their ideas for the stadium of the future. The best plans will be tested and implemented in the new ArenA, which is undergoing a large-scale renovation beginning in early 2016.

The City of Amsterdam and Amsterdam Smart City will be collaborating with innovation partners including Microsoft, Huawei, KPN, KPMG, and TNO.

Via the Innovation ArenA, companies, start-ups, engineers, students, and others will be able to share their ideas. It will be possible to actually test the best ideas, services, and products during events or football matches, which will make the Amsterdam ArenA one of the largest innovation labs in the Netherlands. 

Service, quality and sustainability

Instead of increasing the seating capacity, the objective of the renovation is to improve the levels of service, quality, and sustainability. For example, more space will be created for visitors, and additional lifts, escalators, toilets, and catering outlets will also be added. 

One of the areas where entrepreneurs will be able to contribute is in reducing waiting times in queues. Other examples include reducing waste, offering healthy food choices, and connecting visitors and fans online. A jury from the innovation partners will evaluate the entries, and all contestants will receive feedback in the form of a brief review. 

Tradition of innovation

“Innovation cannot be achieved alone; the best creations are the result of a cooperative effort,” said Henk Markerink, CEO of the Amsterdam ArenA.

Indeed, the Amsterdam ArenA has been a source of exciting innovations since even before its launch in 1996. The stadium was funded through what is now known as crowdfunding, and a new technique known as returfing was also developed there. It was also the first stadium to introduce its own electronic payment system. In terms of sustainability, the ArenA is already climate neutral, with more than four thousand solar panels on the roof, and water from a nearby lake used for cooling.