Thursday, August 2, 2007


Ajax Amsterdam and Its Stadiums

Have you seen the Ajax Amsterdam playing their part in the football championships? Or, are you familiar with Ajax Amsterdam? Well, Ajax, as many people love to call it, is one of the famous football clubs in the world. It is a club with a very rich history. Accordingly, the Ajax Amsterdam started as a club with a group of friends who got together in their spare time. From this group of friends, the club grew until it became world famous, known for its beautiful and attractive football.

A century ago, Ajax Amsterdam played soccer on a barren little The small Pitch. However, since the club has always been closely connected with the places where it played its matches, the team had moved several times until it settled to a new bigger and more impressive stadium, the Olympic Stadium.

• The Small Pitch (1893-1900) – Before the official foundation of the Ajax Amsterdam in 1900, the club had played soccer on a small pitch at the end of Overtoom in the municipality of Nieuwer Amstel, which had been designated in 1881 as an extension for the Vondelpark. For fifteen guilders, the club was allowed to play on a field for a period of six months. And, it was only during 1896 that the City of Amsterdam pushed through its building plans. The field was then incorporated into the city borders, and so the players had to look for another pitch. Fortunately, they found the Amsterdam North.
• Amsterdam North (1900-1907) – In 1900 until 1907, there was a great shortage of football fields in Amsterdam. This is the situation that tempted Ajax Amsterdam to play alongside farmer’s fields in the Builsloterham, Amsterdam Noord. The place was quite a trip for the spectators as it took them to travel with a chain ferry and a quarter-hour walk to reach to field. Dissatisfied with this far away location, the club moved to a playing field only a five-minute walk away from the ferry.
• The Wooden Stadium (1907-1934) – In 1907, the building plans for a new housing at the location in Amsterdam Noord forced Ajax Amsterdam once again to move and find a new playing field. There were actually two football fields found at Middenweg, which was again located in the middle of nowhere in a typical Dutch polder. However, it was here actually that for the first time in the club’s history real stands were established around The Small Pitch. This stadium underwent expansion until it grew to a much bigger field. It is also here where Ajax Amsterdam won four league championships in succession and the number of their spectators increased rapidly.
• De Meer (1934-1996) – The Ajax team moved once again as they realized that the value of a football stadium is not determined by the building costs, but by the team playing in it. The De Meer stadium was to became Ajax home base for 62 years, and it was here where the legendary players built up the worldwide reputation the club now has. But again, the club successes and outside pressure were reasons to move. As the stadium could no longer accommodate the large numbers of supporters, they looked for another bigger place and that they found the Olympic Stadium.
• Olympic Stadium (1930-1996) – The Amsterdam Olympic Stadium has played an important role in the history of AFC Ajax. The area was used for matches for which more than 20,000 spectators were expected or which had to be played in the evening. And, although this stadium had not been intended for football games, Ajax Amsterdam had played many important matches in the stadium.

Ajax Amsterdam has won the national championship 27 times. The club also won 25 important international prices, making the club one of the best in Europe.

No comments: