Football Stadiums of Istanbul

Turks are one of the nations that are fond of football. They try not to miss any match of their favorite teams, and are avid fans. It is by no means surprising, that in Istanbul there are many stadiums, and the majority of them correspond to the standards of the IOC. The most famous stadiums of Istanbul are Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, Besiktas Inonu Stadium, and Ali Sami Yen Stadium.

Besiktas Inonu Stadium

The project of this stadium was elaborated by an Italian architect Paolo Vietti Violi. It was opened in Besiktas district in 1947, and had 16,000 seats. Then its name was the Mithat-pasha (the drafter of the first Turkish Constitution) stadium, and Ismet Inonu, the follower of Ataturk and the second presdient of the Turkish Republic participated at the opening ceremony. In 1973 the stadium got its new name in honor of Ismet Inonu, and till nowadays it is called Besiktas Inonu Stadium.

The place of the construction is very convenient: the stadium was built on the spot of the Dolmabahce palace stables, near the Bosporus. It is, probably, the only football stadium, where the two parts of the world – Europe and Asia – are seen from. In addition, magnificent views of the Dolmabahce palace and mosque, and the Bosporus open from the upper grandstands of the stadium. After being reconstructed in 2004 according to the standards of the UEFA, the stadium got the highest category Elite.

In the nearest future there will be another reconstruction, when the stadium will nearly completely be pulled down, and a new stadium, with 42,000 seats and transparent slip roof, will be built. Only one grandstand will be restored and preserved – Eski Acik – for it is considered the architectural monument. In addition, architects plan to build near the stadium a 5 star hotel, congress-center, shopping center, and parking area.

This stadium is the host field of the Besiktas football team, but other clubs as Galatasaray and Fenerbahce played here. However, it remains a place, where Black Eagles (an unofficial name of Besiktas players) defeated the teams of Barcelona, Liverpool, Milan, and Paris Saint Germain.

Ali Sami Yen Stadium

This stadium, which hosts Galatasaray football club, was opened in 1964. It was named after the founder of this team and their first president Ali Sami Yen, who later became the President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey. Now the stadium has only 23,785 seats, and their matches of the European Tournaments Galatasaray holds in the Ataturk Olympic Stadium. However, Ali Sami Yen Stadium remains a place, where Galatasaray won Barcelona, Real, Manchester United, Fenerbahce, and Besiktas.

The unofficial name of Galatasaray players is Lions, and their fans name the stadium Cennehem (hell). Nowadays, Galatasaray meet their opponents with the motto Cennehem Hosgeldiniz, meaning Welcome To The Hell.

The Ali Sami Yen Stadium is in Sisli district, near the street, which leads to the Bosporus bridge. In 2007 Galatasaray started the construction of their new football stadium called Turk Telekom Arena. Besides the stadium with 58,000 seats, there will be built a covered sports hall with 15,000 seats, subway station, shopping center, and parking area.

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