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 Cruijff. 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 and losing the final of the 2019 UEFA Nations League means the Dutch are now looking towards Euro 2020 (to be played in 2021).
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 vs Poland – 4 Sep (2045) – venue to be announced
Netherlands vs Italy – 7 Sep (2045) – venue to be announced
Since winning the Euro2017 tournament on home soil, the Dutch women’s team (Nederlands vrouwenelftal) has seen a big leap in popularity. The following matches are ‘Euro2021’ qualifiers at home:
Netherlands (W) vs Estonia (W) – 23 Oct 2020 – venue to be announced
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. Due to the ‘coronavirus’ measures the 2019/20 season was abandoned. Ajax home fixtures for the 2020/21 season:
Ajax vs RKC Waalwijk 20 Sep 2020 (1645)
Ajax vs Vitesse 26 Sep 2020 (2100)
Ajax vs SC Heerenveen 17 Oct 2020 (1845)
Ajax vs Fortuna Sittard 31 Oct 2020 (1845)
Ajax vs Heracles Almelo 21 Nov 2020 (1845)
Ajax vs FC Twente 5 Dec 2020 (2100)
Ajax vs PEC Zwolle 12 Dec 2020 (2000)
Ajax vs PSV Eindhoven 10 Jan 2021 (1645)
Ajax vs Feyenoord 17 Jan 2021 (1645)
Ajax vs Willem II 28 Jan 2021 (2100)
Ajax vs FC Utrecht 7 Feb 2021 (1215)
Ajax vs Sparta Rotterdam 21 Feb 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs FC Groningen 7 Mar 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs ADO Den Haag 21 Mar 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs FC Groningen 7 Mar 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs ADO Den Haag 21 Mar 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs AZ Alkmaar 25 Apr 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs FC Emmen 2 May 2021 (1430)
Ajax vs VVV Venlo 13 May 2021 (1430)
Johan Cruyff Schaal (Cruijff Shield, winner Eredivisie vs winner KNVB Cup), season opener. 2020 event cancelled, scheduled for early August 2021.
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:
10 Jul 2020 / 14 Aug 2020 / 11 Sep 2020 / 9 Oct 2020 / 13 Nov 2020 / 11 Dec 2020 / 8 Jan 2021 / 12 Feb 2021 / 12 Mar 2021 / 9 Apr 2021 / 7 May 2021 / 11 Jun 2021
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. 47th edition will be run on Sunday 7 Mar 2021.
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 40th edition has been rescheduled for Sunday 25 Oct 2020.
Gaasperplasrun – 1km, 2km, 5km and 10km runs around the Gaasperplaas, a lake in south-east Amsterdam. 2020 event was cancelled, next edition expected in June 2021.
Festival Run Rotterdam – 1km, 2km 5km and 10km running event held around Zuiderpark in Rotterdam. 2020 event was cancelled, next edition expected in June 2021.
Dutch Atheltics Championships (NK) – Annual Dutch Championships meet takes place in summer, with qualification places up for grabs for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Expected in June 2021.
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. 104th edition to be be held over 21-24 Jul 2020 is cancelled, expected to return July 2021.
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. The 2020 edition scheduled for 19-20 Sep 2020 is cancelled. Expected to return September 2021.
TCS Amsterdam Marathon – The 45th edition of Amsterdam’s marathon event will be held on Sunday 18 Oct 2020. 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 17 Oct 2020, 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 8 Nov 2020.
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. Expected end of November 2020.
Netherlands hosts 2 ATP tournaments during the year:
ABN Amro Tournament – ATP tennis tour event at Ahoy Rotterdam between 6-14 Feb 2021. A strong field of top 20 players is due at the 48th 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 event was cancelled, expected 5-13 Jun 2021.
KLM Open – European Tour event (101st edition) will be held at Bernardus Golf in Cromvoirt (Den Bosch) on 17-20 Sep 2020.
Jumping Amsterdam – Indoor international equestrian event featuring some of the world’s best show jumping and dressage riders. Amsterdam RAI, 28-31 Jan 2021.
Amsterdam Sevens – Annual international rugby sevens tournament with over 120 teams to be played at the National Rugby Centre in Amsterdam. 2020 event was cancelled, expected May 2021.
Tri Amsterdam – International triathlon event which offers half-distance and full Olympic distance courses from Park Somerlust around the Amstel river area. 2020 event was cancelled, expected June 2021.
Premier League – The invitational Premier League of darts event returns to the Netherlands for the 5th time. At the Ahoy Rotterdam, rescheduled for 9-10 Sep 2020.
Formula 1 – The historic circuit at Zandvoort (near Amsterdam) was due to host a Formula 1 motor race in 2020 – this has been cancelled. A race is expected in the 2021 F1 season – this will be the first F1 race in the Netherlands since 1985.
Dutch Moto GP – Popular motorcycle racing event held at the Assen TT circuit. 2020 event cancelled, expected 2021.
DTM Race – The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters touring car series comes to the Assen circuit. Expected 4-6 Sep 2020.
World Port Tournament Baseball – International biennial baseball event featuring the Netherlands, Curaçao, Japan, Taiwan and USA. Expected to return in July 2021, held at Neptunus Family stadium in Rotterdam.
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. 14th anniversary edition due to be held in November 2020.
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. 34th edition is scheduled for 10 Oct 2020.
Amsterdam City Swim – This charity 2km outdoor swim event in the city features up to 3,000 participants. The 2020 event due on Sunday 6 Sep 2020 has been cancelled, expected to return Sep 2021.
Friday Night Skate – A 20km organised skate around the streets of Amsterdam held every Friday night (2030, weather permitting) from Vondelpark Pavilion. Cancelled until further notice.
League Finals – Ball sport (kind of netball-basketball cross) invented in the Netherlands. League finals day will be in 10 Apr 2021 at the Ahoy Rotterdam.
Invictus Games 2020 (rescheduled)
The international games founded by Prince Harry for wounded and sick armed service personnel was due to be held in the Netherlands in May 2020. The event was cancelled and should be rescheduled for May 2021 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.