Renovation of Johan Cruijff ArenA

During the renovation of Johan Cruijff ArenA, football matches and concerts continue as usual. How is that managed? The contractor Ballast Nedam uses Ed Controls for quality assurance and (interim) deliveries, ensuring that the client can always monitor the current status of the project.


This article in short:

  • Ballast Nedam was awarded the contract partly due to its new approach to collaboration.

  • Quality assurance is a whole different ball game when events continually get in the way of construction.

  • The project is complicated and in a constant state of flux. Ed Controls provides an overview of everything taking place.

  • And there is a hard deadline approaching. The renovation must be complete before the 2020 Euro Cup.


Ballast Nedam has its own history with the project. Back in 1996, the Nieuwegein company was involved in the construction of the ArenA. Now the company can usher this iconic venue, a place where countless festive memories have been made, into the future. The primary objective is to improve the quality of the visitor experience during events. Ballast Nedam was awarded the contract partly due to its fresh approach to collaboration. Throughout the renovation of Johan Cruijff ArenA, the various events hosted take precedence over the work, because: ‘The show must go on.’ And this despite there being a hard deadline.

This demands a lot from the contractor, says Erik Hooijschuur. He is a project leader and the head of work preparation at Ballast Nedam. “What events are scheduled and what influence do they have on the work? Prior to each event, we look at the status of the construction and see what is needed to make sure the events run smoothly”, he adds. “In one recent instance, the ArenA encountered a safety issue with escape routes after we removed two old staircases. To ensure there was no safety hazard, we put in the new staircases earlier than planned.”

Quality assurance

The Johan Cruijff ArenA and Ballast Nedam have mutual respect for each other’s work. Because not only ‘the show must go on’, but ‘the work must go on’ as well. “Recently, an event took place with 12,000 visitors”, Hooijschuur relates. “Under such circumstances, we have to assume there will be some scratches on newly delivered portions.”

In these circumstances, quality assurance takes on a whole new dimension. A final delivery in a ‘normal’ project is carried out in minute detail. However, that just doesn’t work with this project. “The ArenA is in a constant state of flux and it is near to impossible to make flawless deliveries. We are aware of this, as is our client. If something has to be repainted, it’s not a disaster. That is just part of this project.”


Overview of construction project

Hooijschuur uses Ed Controls for quality control and (interim) deliveries. “This project is constantly undergoing changes. The advantage of working with Ed Controls is that all these changes are immediately visible, and you always have an up-to-date status of the work at hand. It’s a good way to monitor the progress together.”

The renovation of the stadium also pushes the boundaries in practical terms. It is a relatively small construction site, and an existing road is being used, meaning that accessibility is not always optimal. “The existing stadium slopes forward, which can be challenging when cranes have to reach significant heights.”

Despite the complex challenges involved in renovating the stadium, Hooijschuur is pleased to be involved in this project. “It’s a real pleasure to work in such a vibrant environment. The football matches and the events for which stages have to be built… It is a working environment we will not encounter again anytime soon.”

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