Amsterdam Arena’s Henk Markerink: ‘Everybody Is A VIP’

Business is going well for , says GM Henk Markerink in this Pollstar video interview. 

Markerink takes viewers through the history of the arena, which was designed as a multi-purpose stadium from the get go.

He got involved in the project as a consultant in 1992, putting the vision for the building together.

He then managed the design and construction process. Markerink explains why a venue like Amsterdam Arena is “never ready,” because customer’s expectations are constantly changing.

He also talks about the challenge of programming an arena that hosts concerts on one day and football on the other: “Multi-functionality is an easy thing to say, but to execute it in practice it’s sometimes very complicated.”

He also talks about the shift from a “protocol driven society to a data driven society,” and how venues need to accommodate that.

For three years Amsterdam Arena has an onsite field lab where technological innovations in crowd and traffic management as well as security are constantly being developed.

The Arena team works with large companies such as Microsoft but also start-ups.

“Besides that we have an extensive sustainability program. We are producing our own energy with the solar panels on the roof,” Markerink explains. “We are going to buy a huge battery to store the energy coming from the panels.”

Since the Arena has always been a football stadium that has to deal with hooligans, security has always been tight, with some 120 cameras, security pat downs and electronic ticket readers to combat fake tickets in operation since 1996.

Markerink also offer an opinion on what matters more to the Dutch people, football or dance music, before offering some advice to up-and-coming venue operators.

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