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History

In December 1961, the Jaap Eden IJsbaan in Amsterdam was the third 400-meter rink in the world to open its gates. The construction of the Jaap Eden IJsbaan was unique in the world in 1961. Namely, it was the first 400-meter rink with a so-called "direct" system. On Friday, December 9, members of the Dutch association tot Bevordering van het Hardrijden op de Schaats (NVBHS) were already allowed to experience the ice rink. Eventually, 8,000 track riders from all over the country would inaugurate the Jaap Eden IJsbaan in the first weekend that the artificial ice rink had opened its gates. The rink was festively opened by the ten-year-old grandson of legendary late 19th century ice skater Jaap Eden. "With this I give this ice rink the name of my grandfather Jaap Eden," the boy's voice boomed through the microphone. A total of 290,350 track riders used the ice in the first 144 days.

In the first years after its opening, it was exceptionally busy, and enthusiasts from all over the country came to Amsterdam to skate. It was sometimes even so crowded that the police on horseback had to restrain people at the entrance. The millionth visitor was received as early as March 8, 1964, after 425 skating days. Two and a half months after its official opening, the Jaap Eden IJsbaan experienced its first competition. Watched by 16,000 spectators over two days, a three-country competition was held on February 25 and 26, 1962. Sweden won, the Dutch team of six finished third. Nine days after the 1963 Elfstedentocht, several thousand spectators flocked to the Jaap Eden IJsbaan to watch the heroes of the Tocht der Tochten at work. The 400-meter rink hosted the first marathon race on artificial ice. Five times the Jaap Eden IJsbaan was the battleground for an all-round national championship and once for a sprint national championship.

Op 31 oktober 1973 werd de Jaap Edenhal geopend. De Jaap Edenhal werd niet alleen gebruikt voor schaatsevenementen, maar er vonden bijvoorbeeld ook popconcerten (o.a. Abba), vlooienmarkten en kickboksgala’s plaats. De hal, ruim 100 meter lang en ruim 50 meter breed, telde direct na de bouw tribunes met ruim 2000 kuipstoelen. Het eerste grote evenement dat in de hal plaatsvond was het NK kunstrijden in 1974. Te midden van de overdekte en half overdekte ijsbanen in Nederland, ademt de Jaap Eden IJsbaan als buitenbaan nog altijd de sfeer die zo typerend is voor het schaatsen. 

Ook voor de toekomst streven wij naar een sfeer van het buiten schaatsen, waar schaatsers nog steeds regen en wind trotseren. En waar gezelligheid mede wordt gecreëerd door goede koek en zopie en andere horeca op de baan.

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