1988, the national Dutch soccer team celebrates their European title in the canals of Amsterdam. (C) NOS
Not only in case of a Dutch victory in tonight’s Soccer World Cup Final, the city of Amsterdam is preparing “strong crowd management” for the next couple of days. “When we will become world champions, or even when we lose after a heroic battle, we consider asking non-residents to stay away from the city”, a spokesperson told city newspaper Het Parool.
Amsterdam expects at least 1.5 million visitors in case of a victory. Measures like closing highways or not allowing trains to travel to Central Station will be discussed on Monday morning. Buses and trams will be free of charge, but won’t ride in the city centre. Official celebrations are planned for Tuesday afternoon. In the World Cup scenario a canal tour will be the highlight of the celebrations. The 30+ generation has strong memories of the national team’s canal tour after winning the European Cup in 1988.
The city has already advised car owners not to park their vehicles alongside the canals in any case for the next days. Inhabitants of floating “housboats”, which are found in almost every Amsterdam canal, have already been working on reinforcement of their property. In 1988, many of them were severely damaged by the fans who climbed on every one of them, just to get a glimpse of the national players. “Chances are high that the fans again will use anything, including cars and houseboats, as a platform”, the spokesperson said.
Some smaller bridges will be closed in order to prevent their collapse should the crowds swarm over them. Starting Monday morning, the same “strong crowd management”-measures will be taken as on Queen’s Day. Which means that not only security guards but also speakers and information panels will lead the crowds into the right directions.
: Hours before the beginning of the World Cup Final (and even days before an eventual celebration), the mayor of Amsterdam has declared his city “full”. He strongly calls upon all non-residents not to come to Amsterdam anymore today.