Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

Social impact of the EURO 2020 on Amsterdam


In 2014, the Royal Dutch Football Association (Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond; KNVB), the Ministry of Sports, the municipality of Amsterdam, the Johan Cruyff Arena and the Schiphol Group put themselves forward as candidate for the European Football Championship in 2020 (EURO 2020, postponed to 2021). This project investigates the social impact of the EURO 2020 on Amsterdam.

Positive consequences EURO 2020 for Amsterdam mentioned in the bid were:

  • Sport participation, in particular in football, would be increased.
  • The tournament would show the best sides of Amsterdam and the Netherlands and stimulate tourism.
  • Organising EURO 2020 would give a major economic impulse to Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The KNVB estimates the economic impact of EURO 2020 at 55 to 77 million Euros.
  • Developments around the Johan Cruyff Arena would be given a boost in terms of quality and innovation.
  • Amsterdam would have the opportunity to organise a sustainable sports event by using efficient Dutch public transport.
  • Organising EURO 2020 in Amsterdam would give Dutch citizens the opportunity to see their heroes of the national men’s football team play a major tournament in their own country for the first time in twenty years.

After the bid was awarded, the KNVB indicated that EURO 2020 would have a positive effect on recreational sport, talent development, sports promotion and social cohesion in Amsterdam as football has the power to connect people. The KNVB further stated that one of the main reasons to choose Amsterdam as a host city is the connecting power of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has organised major events in the past. Nevertheless, some events were not organised due to a lack of political and economic support. The best-known example is the cancelled bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028. The ruling coalition of the government wanted to organise these Games, but a study showed that a large part of the population did not support a potential bid. 74% of the respondents felt that the Games would cost too much money with too few positive outcomes (Elling & van der Werff, 2011).

Major sporting events should only be organised with the support of the local community. After all, public funds are needed to organise an event (Oshimi, Harada, & Takayuki, 2016). If the societal impact of EURO 2020 can be demonstrated, there is likely to be more support for the organisation of other major (sports) events. In addition, if local residents are enthusiastic about organising sports events, this will have a positive influence on the success and sustainability of the event (Balduck, Maes, & Buelens, 2011).


Measuring the social impact of the EURO 2020 on the city of Amsterdam and its inhabitants: the manner in which the sport event prompts changes in the collective and individual value systems, behaviour patterns, community structures, lifestyles and quality of life (Hall, 1992).


Study I: qualitative, interview, cross-sectional

This study focuses on the EURO 2020 volunteers. We want to evaluate the success of the volunteering programme on 3 themes:

  • Characteristics of the volunteers and their motivators/expectations prior to volunteering.
  • Being a volunteer, process considerations during volunteering.
  • The expected and experienced consequences of volunteering.

Study II: quantitative, survey, longitudinal

With the help of a panel of the City of Amsterdam, the opinions of Amsterdammers before and after the EURO 2020 are measured. The subjects are, among others:

  • Types of involvement in the event
  • Social cohesion
  • Social disruption

Study III: quantitative, survey, cross-sectional

With surveys on match days at the Johan Cruyff Arena and the Public Viewing at the Olympic Stadium and on non-match days at the UEFA Football Village EURO2020 on Museum Square, we measure the experiences of visitors and fans of EURO 2020.

  • Accessibility and mobility within the city.
  • Overall satisfaction with the event.
  • Sustainability of the event.
  • Knowledge about EURO 2020 and the programme in the fan zones (Olympic Stadium, UEFA Football Village EURO2020).
  • Intention to revisit Amsterdam.

In addition, and in cooperation with the KNVB and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a questionnaire on the economic impact will be included in this study.

Expected results

  • A report, infographic and journal publication.
  • It is interesting to see how the social impact is viewed between different segments. Think of neighbourhoods, socio-economic status, age and the number of years a person has lived in Amsterdam. A comparison between Amsterdammers and tourists also provides valuable insights.

Impact on education

Integration of this research in the degree programmes Sport Studies - track International Sports, Management and Business (ISMB) and Sportkunde - leerroute Sport, Management en Ondernemen (SM&O). This project is a prime example for students of what applied research entails and offers excellent opportunities to involve them.

Impact on research

A longitudinal social impact study, i.e., this study provides insight into the change of behaviour and attitudes over time. Also, a contribution to the research on the impact of COVID-19 on sports events.

Impact on industry/government/society

Validated data on the social impact of the EURO 2020 on Amsterdam. Providing insights to the decision makers that will influence the promotion and realization of future (sports) events in Amsterdam.

External partners

  • City of Amsterdam
  • KNVB
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Sport2B


  • Balduck, A., Maes, M., & Buelens, M. (2011). The social impact of the Tour de France: Comparisons of residents' pre- and post-event perceptions. European Sport Management Quarterly, 11(2), 91-113.
  • Elling, A., & van der Werff, H. (2011). Draagvlakmeting Olympische Spelen 2028: Uitkomsten van de eerste afname van een gestandaardiseerde draagvlakmeting voor de Olympische Spelen 2028 in Nederland. Utrecht: Mulier Instituut.
  • Hall, C. (1992). Adventure, sport and health tourism. London: Belhaven.
  • Hover, P., Dijk, B., Breedveld, K., van Eekeren, F., & Slender, H. (2016). Creating social impact with sport events. Utrecht: Mulier Institue & Utrecht University.
  • Oshimi, D., Harada, M., & Takayuki, F. (2016). Residents' perceptions on the soical impacts of an international sport event: Applying panel data design and a moderating variable. Journal of Convention & Event Tourism, 17(4), 294-317.
Published by  Urban Vitality 4 December 2020

Project Info

Start date 01 Sep 2019
End date 01 Sep 2021