Amsterdam Arena confirms intention to host Euro 2020 matches
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
February 26 - Amsterdam Arena chief executive Henk Markerink has confirmed that the venue, which provides a permanent home for Dutch football champions Ajax, will bid for the right to host matches at the 2020 UEFA European Championships here today, though he does admit that Rotterdam may offer some competition.
European football governing body UEFA announced last December that the 2020 European Championships would take place in 13 different cities across the continent for the first time, and cities across Europe are set to stake their claims to matches as the bid process begins in April, with only one city allowed to be put forward by each national Football Association.
Matches at Euro 2020 will be split into 13 packages, with 12 ordinary match packages on offer, consisting of three group matches and one knockout round match (round of 16 or quarter-finals), and one package for the showpiece semi-finals and final.
"We are the only stadium [in Holland] which is able to host 2020 in principle," Markerink said.
"The bid procedure will begin at the end of this year new stadium in Rotterdam that may be a competitor, but we are of course a competitor for this."
Rotterdam is currently proposing to build a 63,000-seater stadium - almost 15,000 more than the Amsterdam Arena - with plans to become the world's first energy neutral stadium, and would be set for completion in 2017.
The stadium would cost around €300 million (£260 million/$390 million) to complete, though Rotterdam and potential tenants, Ajax's fierce rivals Feyenoord, are still searching for private investment for the project.
However, due to the current economic climate, there is still doubt as to whether these plans will come to fruition.
This news comes in the same week that Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced that their home ground, the Allianz Arena, would also be bidding to host matches at Euro 2020.
February 2013: Bayern back Munich Euro 2020 host city bid
January 2013: Euro 2020 to be hosted in 13 cities with one city staging final stages
December 2012: We're taking matches to the fans with pan-continent Euro 2020, says Platini
December 2012: Platini's revloutionary plan for Euro 2020 given go-ahead despite Turkish opposition
November 2012: Scotland reiterates interest in Euro 2020 finals