AUAS researches the impact of UEFA EURO 2020 on Amsterdam

Studying the social impact of the European Football Championship, on behalf of the City

15 Oct 2019 10:56 | Urban Vitality

Amsterdam will be one of the host cities of the European Football Championship (UEFA EURO 2020) in June and July 2020. What will Amsterdam’s residents and visitors think of this event, and what will volunteers and cooperating students gain from it? The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) will investigate these and other questions on behalf of the city, under the direction of Professor of The Power of Sports, Marije Deutekom (AUAS/Inholland).

The AUAS is going to gather information about the social impact of the European Football Championship (EURO 2020) from 12 June to 12 July 2020. The European Championship will be played during that period, and Amsterdam will be one of the twelve host cities. The city, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and sports economic consultancy Sport2B signed a major partnership for EURO 2020 at city hall this week.

In the spotlight

It is important for the municipal authorities to know what the European Football Championship means for the city, both economically and socially, as this international sports tournament will soon put Amsterdam in the spotlight. This can be beneficial to the city in many ways: from additional income for businesses to greater cohesion between residents. However, it will also draw large crowds to the city.

Students and volunteers

The AUAS is studying the social costs and benefits of the event. ‘Social impact’ sounds broad but, according to Professor Marije Deutekom, it basically comes down to: “How much do Amsterdam’s residents and visitors actually like EURO 2020, and what will it do for them and the city? That is roughly what we are looking at.”

Furthermore, the city wants to involve as many volunteers and students as possible during the European Championship, and to ensure that they learn and gain useful experience from the event. The AUAS is looking at what this will actually deliver in terms of learning outcomes. In addition, the researchers will examine whether there are any bottlenecks and whether new networks are developing around the European Championship. They will also look at whether the city’s objectives of ‘inclusiveness’ are being achieved, both in terms of visitors and for the people who participate in the organisation.

The Johan Cruijff Arena is one of the venues for EURO 2020.

Students gauge opinions

AUAS students from both the Dutch and English versions of the Sport Studies programme will head into the city to conduct the research. They will collect information through field research at various event venues – the Arena, Museum Square (Museumplein) and the Olympic Stadium – and through panel research.

The researchers hope to answer questions such as: are visitors satisfied with the city, the programme (including the side-events) and the venues? Does the event strengthen the sense of community and pride among Amsterdam’s residents – fuelled by the achievements of the Dutch national team? And what about the accessibility of the venues, and the nuisance associated with the event?

Professor of The Power of Sports, Marije Deutekom

Getting the country going

The answers to the research questions will provide useful insights for the Netherlands. Deutekom: “If we want to organise events in the Netherlands that get the whole country going, we really need to learn more about how to generate that social impact. With this information, we can also advise the City of Amsterdam on other major events in the future.

In addition to the European Championship itself, the Professorship The Power of Sports is also researching the social impact of all other EURO 2020-related events in the city, between 12 June and 12 July 2020.

Economic impact also investigated

In addition to the social impact, the economic impact of EURO 2020 for Amsterdam and the Netherlands is also being investigated. This part of the study is being carried out by accountancy firm PwC on behalf of the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB). Sports economic consultancy Sport2B will test the research and the presented results. This research will take place independently of the AUAS study into social impact. However, the AUAS is responsible for the coordination of the research between all parties, into both the social and the economic impact. The entire study has been commissioned by the KNVB and the City of Amsterdam.