Sport Calendar in Amsterdam and the Netherlands
This is a full listing of the Dutch sporting calendar with a focus on major sports events in Amsterdam and around the Netherlands.
Football (soccer) is by far the most popular sport in the Netherlands. Taking in a match of the Dutch national team (Nederlands elftal) is perhaps one of the great experiences of world football. Seeing the Dutch fans bedecked in all orange brings back some fleeting memories of the mighty Holland teams from the 1970s and 80s. Johan Cruyff. Total Football. Ruud Gullit. Marco van Basten. Euro 88...
As of late, however, the Dutch team has been in crisis having failed to qualify for the last 2 major tournaments. Missing out on World Cup 2018 in Russia means the Dutch will be playing international friendlies until the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League and Euro 2020 qualifying begin.
The Dutch national team plays most of its home matches at either Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam or De Kuyp in Rotterdam.
Netherlands vs England – 23 Mar 2018, 2045 (Johan Cruyff ArenA Amsterdam)
Since winning the Euro2017 tournament on home soil, the Dutch women's team has seen a big leap in popularity. Home matches tend to be played at smaller provincial stadiums.
Dutch league (Eredivisie) matches are played from August to May with a winter's break in early January. AFC Ajax plays its home games at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam and the following fixtures make up its 2017/18 season:
Ajax vs FC Groningen – 19 Aug 2017,
Ajax vs PEC Zwolle – 9 Sep 2017, 2045
Ajax vs Vitesse – 23 Sep 2017, 1830
Ajax vs Sparta – 14 Oct 2017, 1830
Ajax vs FC Utrecht – 5 Nov 2017, 1430
Ajax vs Roda JC – 26 Nov 2017, 1230
Ajax vs PSV – 10 Dec 2017, 1645
Ajax vs Excelsior – 14 Dec 2017, 2045
Ajax vs Willem II – 24 Dec 2017, 1430
Ajax vs Feyenoord – 21 Jan 2018, 1430
Ajax vs NAC Breda – 4 Feb 2018, 1645
Ajax vs FC Twente – 11 Feb 2018, 1230
Ajax vs ADO Den Haag – 25 Feb 2018, 1230
Ajax vs SC Heerenveen – 11 Mar 2018, 1430
Ajax vs Heracles Almelo – 8 Apr 2018, 1645
Ajax vs VVV Venlo – 18 Apr 2018, 2045
Ajax vs AZ – 29 Apr 2018, 1430
Ajax Open Day – Johan Cruyff ArenA hosts an open day for Ajax fans to ring in the new season. Free entry, date in late July/early August yet to be announced.
Johan Cruijff Schaal (Cruijff Shield, winner Eredivisie vs winner KNVB Cup), season opener at De Kuip Rotterdam, date (early August) to be announced.
Athletics / Running / Walking
Friday Night Run – A free monthly 1 hour run organised by running group Phanos. Runners meet at the Olympic Stadium Amsterdam at 1930 on the 2nd Friday of each month. Dates:
12 Jan 2018 / 9 Feb 2018 / 9 Mar 2018 / 13 Apr 2018 / 11 May 2018 / 8 Jun 2018 / 13 Jul 2018 / 10 Aug 2018 / 14 Sep 2018 / 12 Oct 2018 / 9 Nov 2018 / 14 Dec 2018
CPC (City-Pier-City) Run – An annual half marathon event in the Hague which is held in mid-March. Starting in the city, the flat course takes in Scheveningen beach before heading back to the centre. 44th edition will be run on Sunday 11 Mar 2018.
NN Rotterdam Marathon – This big marathon event in the Netherlands attracts over 20,000 competitors including a field of world-class athletes. One of the fastest marathon courses in the world, the race begins on Erasmus Bridge with the finish line being on the Coolsingel. Up to a million spectators line the streets of Rotterdam. The 38th edition will take place on Sunday 8 Apr 2018.
Gaasperplasrun – 1km, 2km, 5km and 10km runs around the Gaasperplaas, a lake in south-east Amsterdam. 24th edition scheduled for June 2018, date unconfirmed.
Ladiesrun Rotterdam – 5km, 7.5km and 10km running event for ladies only. 12th edition due June 2018, date unconfirmed.
Dutch Atheltics Championships (NK) – Annual Dutch Championships meet takes place at the Olympic Stadium Amsterdam, dates to be announced.
Nijmegen Vierdaagse – International four days marches event around the city of Nijmegen with up to 50,000 participants - walking 30km to 50km per day over all 4 days. 102nd edition will be held over 17-20 July 2018.
Dam tot Dam Loop – Very popular fun-run event with tens of thousands of participants - the 34th edition takes place over the weekend of 22-23 Sep 2018. The main 10 mile event from Amsterdam to Zaandam is staged on Sunday 23 Sep 2018, with staggered starts at Prins Hendrikkade.
TCS Amsterdam Marathon – The 43rd edition of Amsterdam's marathon event will be held on Sunday 21 Oct 2018. The race starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium.
Amsterdam City Walk – 11, 18, 26 and 33 km walking events held the day before the Amsterdam marathon taking in the highlights of the city. Saturday 20 Oct 2018, the longer walks start from the Olympic Stadium.
Olympic Stadium Run – The Olympischstadionloop (41st edition) is a 1km/5km/10km running event which starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium in the south of Amsterdam. Scheduled for Nov 2018.
Movember Run Amsterdam – 5km charitable (and humorous) run around the Vondelpark in Amsterdam to raise funds for Movember. Also counts as the official Dutch Championship (NK) for running with a moustache. 25 Nov 2017.
Netherlands hosts 2 ATP tournaments during the year; Netherlands has re-qualified for the Davis Cup World Group though its first round match will be away to France on 2-4 Feb 2018.
ABN Amro Tournament – ATP tennis tour event at Ahoy Rotterdam between 12-18 Feb 2018. A strong field of top 20 players is due at the 45th edition.
Ricoh Open – International grass court tournament (men’s ATP and women’s WTA) at the Autotron Rosmalen near Den Bosch, 1 hour south of Amsterdam. Used as a warm-up to Wimbledon for some players. 29th edition, 11-17 June 2018.
KLM Open – European Tour event will be held at The Dutch links course in Spijk (Gorinchem) on 13-16 Sep 2018.
Jumping Amsterdam – Indoor international equestrian event featuring some of the world’s best show jumping and dressage riders. Amsterdam RAI, 25-28 Jan 2018.
Amsterdam Sevens – Annual international rugby sevens tournament with over 120 teams to be played at the National Rugby Centre in Amsterdam, 8-10 Jun 2018.
Internationals at the National Rugby Centre, Amsterdam:
Netherlands vs Poland – 3 Mar 2018,
Netherlands vs Czech Republic – 17 Mar 2018, 1500
Tri Amsterdam – International triathlon event which offers half-distance and full Olympic distance courses around the Amstel river area. Expected June 2018, date unconfirmed.
Premier League – The invitational Premier League of darts event returns to the Netherlands for the 3rd time. See Michael van Gerwen, Raymond van Barneveld and co at the Ahoy Rotterdam on 19 Apr 2018.
Dutch Moto GP – Popular motorcycle racing event held at the Assen TT circuit. 22-24 June 2018.
Ben Bril Boxing Gala – Ben Bril (1912-2003) was a Jewish Dutch boxer who fought at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam and later survived deportation to a German concentration camp. This annual boxing and dinner show at Theater Carré is held in his memory. 12th anniversary edition due to be held mid-October 2018.
Grachtenrace – Up to 140 sloop boats race over a 22km course around Amsterdam's canals. The race starts near Jan Schaeferbrug (bridge) at IJhaven and the route takes in various canals including Herengracht, Leidsegracht and Singelsgracht. The finish is at Oosterdok by the Maritime Museum. 32nd edition is on due Saturday 13 October 2018.
Amsterdam City Swim – This charity 2km outdoor swim event in the city features up to 3,000 participants. Likely Sunday 2 Sep 2018, to be confirmed.
Friday Night Skate – A 20km organised skate around the streets of Amsterdam held every Friday night (2030, weather permitting) from Vondelpark Pavilion.
League Finals – Ball sport (kind of netball-basketball cross) invented in the Netherlands. League finals day will be on 7 Apr 2018 at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam.