SportWhats On

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

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 Cruijff. Total Football. Ruud Gullit. Marco van Basten. Euro 88…

netherlands football shirt
Netherlands football shirts including Van Basten’s Euro 88 shirt (displayed at the since closed Ajax Experience)

As of late, the fortunes of the Dutch team has been mixed. The Netherlands failed to qualify for both Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018. They were losing finalists in the 2019 UEFA Nations League and reached the last 16 of the delayed Euro 2020 tournament. The Dutch have qualified for World Cup 2022.

The Dutch national team plays most of its home matches at either Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam or Stadion Feyenoord (De Kuyp) in Rotterdam, with the occasional match at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven.

Netherlands home internationals (UEFA Nations League):
Netherlands vs Poland 10 Jun 2022 (2045) – Stadion Feyenoord, Rotterdam
Netherlands vs Wales 13 Jun 2022 (2045) – Stadion Feyenoord, Rotterdam
Netherlands vs Belgium 25 Sep 2022 (2045) – Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam

Since winning the Euro2017 tournament on home soil, the Dutch women’s team (Nederlands vrouwenelftal) has seen a big leap in popularity.

Dutch League (Eredivisie) matches are normally played from August to May with a winter’s break in early January. AFC Ajax plays its home games at the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam.

Johan Cruyff Schaal (Cruijff Shield, winner Eredivisie vs winner KNVB Beker), season opener.
Ajax home fixtures for the 2021/22 season, all Eredivisie matches unless stated:

Ajax vs NEC 14 Aug 2021 (2100)
Ajax vs Vitesse 29 Aug 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs SC Cambuur 18 Sep 2021 (2000)
Ajax vs FC Groningen 25 Sep 2021 (1630)
Ajax vs FC Utrecht 3 Oct 2021 (1215)
Ajax vs PSV Eindhoven 24 Oct 2021 (1645)
Ajax vs Go Ahead Eagles 6 Nov 2021 (2000)
Ajax vs Willem II 4 Dec 2021 (2100)
Ajax vs AZ 12 Dec 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs Fortuna Sittard 22 Dec 2021 (2100)
Ajax vs Heracles 6 Feb 2022 (1645)
Ajax vs Vitesse 9 Feb 2022 (1900) – KNVB Beker
Ajax vs FC Twente 13 Feb 2022 (1645)
Ajax vs RKC Waalwijk 6 Mar 2022 (1645)
Ajax vs Benfica 15 Mar 2022 (2100) – UEFA Champions League
Ajax vs Feyenoord 20 Mar 2022 (1430)
Ajax vs Sparta 9 Apr 2022 (2000)
Ajax vs PEC Zwolle 30 Apr 2022 (1845)
Ajax vs SC Heerenveen 11 May 2022 (2000)

johan cruijff arena amsterdamThe Johan Cruijff ArenA Stadium tour (75 minutes) takes you around the stadium – either by a guide or a self-guided tour. Walk through the tunnel to see the pitch, the dug-outs, the main stand, press room and Ajax Gallery of Fame. You can book the Johan Cruijff ArenA tour here

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.

CPC (City-Pier-City) Run – An annual half marathon event in the Hague which is (normally) held in mid-March. Starting in the city, the flat course takes in Scheveningen beach before heading back to the centre. Next edition has been rescheduled Sunday 25 Sep 2022.

NN Rotterdam Marathon – This big marathon event in the Netherlands normally 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 41st edition is scheduled for 10 Apr 2022.

Gaasperplasrun – 1km, 2km, 5km and 10km runs around the Gaasperplaas, a lake in south-east Amsterdam. 2020 event was cancelled, 2021 was a individual/virtual event. Expected on 12 Jun 2022.

Dutch Athletics Championships (NK) – Annual Dutch Championships outdoor meet takes place each summer. Next event expected 24-26 Jun 2022 at AV’34 Apeldoorn.

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. The 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled. The 104th edition is scheduled for 19-22 Jul 2022.

Dam tot Dam Loop – Popular fun-run event which includes the world’s biggest 10 mile event from Amsterdam to Zaandam attracting almost 50,000 participants. Due 17-18 Sep 2022, after the 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled.

TCS Amsterdam Marathon – The Amsterdam’s marathon event will be held on Sunday 16 Oct 2022. The race starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium.

Amsterdam City Walk – 10, 14, 17, 20, 26 and 33 km walking events held the day before the Amsterdam marathon taking in the highlights of the city. Saturday 15 Oct 2022, the longer walks start from the Olympic Stadium.

olympic stadium amsterdam
Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam

Olympic Stadium Run – The Olympischstadionloop is a 1km/5km/10km running event which starts and finishes at the Olympic Stadium in the south of Amsterdam. Expected November 2022.

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. The 2020 and 2021 events were virtual, could return in November 2022.

Tennis

Netherlands hosts 2 ATP tournaments during the year:

ABN Amro Tournament – ATP tennis tour event at Ahoy Rotterdam between 4-12 Feb 2023. A strong field of top 20 players is due at the 50th anniversary edition.

Libéma 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. 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled, expected 4-12 Jun 2022.

Golf

Dutch Open – European Tour event due at Bernardus Golf in Cromvoirt (Den Bosch) over 26-29 May 2022.

Equestrian

Jumping Amsterdam – Indoor international equestrian event featuring some of the world’s best show jumping and dressage riders. At RAI Amsterdam on 26-29 Jan 2023, the 2021 and 2022 events were cancelled.

Rugby

Amsterdam Sevens – Annual international rugby sevens tournament with over 120 teams to be played at the National Rugby Centre in Amsterdam. 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled, expected 3-5 Jun 2022.

Hockey

FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup – The Women’s World Cup hockey event will be held jointly in Amstelveen, Netherlands (at Wagener Stadium) and Terrassa, Spain. Runs 1-17 Jul 2022.

Triathlon

Tri Amsterdam – International triathlon event which offers half-distance and full Olympic distance courses from Bella Vista park around the Amstel river area. Expected on 19 Jun 2022.

Darts

Premier League – The invitational Premier League of darts event is expected to return to the Netherlands on 24 Mar 2022 at Ahoy Rotterdam.

Motorsport

Formula 1 – The historic circuit at Zandvoort (near Amsterdam) will host a Formula 1 race on 4 Sep 2022.

Dutch MotoGP – Popular motorcycle racing event held at the Assen TT circuit. Next event will be held 24-26 Jun 2022.

Baseball

World Port Tournament Baseball – International biennial baseball event featuring the Netherlands, Curaçao, Japan, Taiwan and USA. Expected to return in 2023 at Neptunus Family stadium in Rotterdam.

Boxing

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. Note, the 2020 and 2021 events have not gone ahead, the future of this event is uncertain.

Rowing

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. The 35th edition is scheduled for 8 Oct 2022.

Swimming

Amsterdam City Swim – This charity 2km outdoor swim event in the city features up to 3,000 participants. Scheduled for 28 Aug 2022.

Inline Skating

Friday Night Skate – A 20km organised skate around the streets of Amsterdam held every Friday night (2030, weather permitting) from Vondelpark Pavilion.

Korfball

League Finals – Ball sport (kind of netball-basketball cross) invented in the Netherlands. League finals day will be on 16 Apr 2022 at Ahoy Rotterdam.

Volleyball

FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2022 – The Women’s Volleyball World Championships will be jointly held by the Netherlands and Poland. The 3 Dutch host cities will be Apeldoorn, Arnhem and Rotterdam. Runs 23 Sep to 15 Oct 2022.

Invictus Games 2020 (rescheduled)

The international games founded by Prince Harry for wounded and sick armed service personnel was originally due to be held in the Netherlands in May 2020. The event has been rescheduled for 16-22 Apr 2022 around the Zuiderpark in Den Haag (The Hague).

With 500 participants, the program includes 10 sports: athletics, powerlifting, archery, indoor rowing, JLR Driving Challenge, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, cycling, sitting volleyball and swimming.

World Police & Fire Games 2022

Rotterdam hosts the international games event for active and retired police and fire personnel. 10,000 participants are expected to compete in 63 sports at 40 different venues in and around Rotterdam. The Games will run 22-31 Jul 2022.

Last updated 30 March 2022. This article was first published in 2019 and has been regularly updated.

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