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Atatürk Olympic Stadium

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Atatürk Olympic Stadium
UEFA 4/4 stars
Inside of Atatürk Olympic Stadium, pictured in 2013
Outside of Atatürk Olympic Stadium, pictured in 2009

The Atatürk Olympic Stadium (Turkish: Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı) is a sports stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. It has a seating capacity of 76,092. This makes it the biggest stadium in the country. Building began on the stadium in 1997. It was completed in 2002. It mostly plays host to football matches. It is the home stadium of the Turkey national football team, and formerly to Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and İstanbul Başakşehir.

The Atatürk Olympic Stadium was named after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. On 25 May 2005, the stadium held the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final between Milan and Liverpool.[1]

Renovations and events[change | change source]

Interior view of the stadium
Exterior view of the stadium

2005 UEFA Champions League Final[change | change source]

From 2002 to 2005, the stadium had a capacity of 80,597 (all-seater). This was later reduced to 76,092 (all-seater) by removing the seats from where it was not possible to see the entire pitch, prior to the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final, the final match of Europe's primary club football competition in the 2004–05 season. The showpiece event (dubbed "The Miracle of Istanbul") was contested between Liverpool of England and Milan of Italy on 25 May 2005.

UEFA Euro 2016 plans[change | change source]

The stadium was part of the Turkish UEFA Euro 2016 bid. To meet all requirements of UEFA for being able to organise the championship, the authorities planned to take major reconstruction works on this stadium. It was planned to increase the stadium's capacity to over 90,000 spectators and making it to the world's largest stadium with every seat under cover. To increase the net and gross capacity to 81,106 and 94,555[2] respectively, the pitch would have been lowered by 2.15 metres. In order to provide better convenience for the VIP guests and the media, all existing hospitality areas at levels 3 and 4 would have been extended. Furthermore, 12 new boxes were planned to be added to the west stand and 32 to the east stand in order to add to the current number of 36 skyboxes; making a total of 80 skyboxes after the reconstruction.[3]

Cancelled UEFA Champions League final[change | change source]

The 2020 UEFA Champions League Final was scheduled to be played at the stadium on 30 May 2020.[4] However the final was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe[5] and later relocated to the Estádio da Luz, Lisbon. It was due to stage the following season's final, However, UEFA was relocated on 13 May 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey.[6] On 17 July 2021, UEFA announced four venues for UEFA Champions League finals, without Istanbul.[7]

On 12 August 2021, CONMEBOL announced announced that the stadium is scheduled to host the 2023 Copa Libertadores final.

UEFA Euro 2024 plans[change | change source]

For the UEFA Euro 2024 bid the Turkish Football Federation planned to rebuild the stadium. The stands would be closer to the pitch, making it a football stadium with a new capacity of 92,208[8][9][10] Because of the removal of the athletics track, Turkey plans a new Olympic stadium near to Bosphorus for prospects for a future Summer Olympics.[11] The rebuild was made by Manchester-based British architecture company AFL Architects. Ultimately, the Euro 2024 tournament would be awarded to Germany instead.

UEFA Euro 2032 plans[change | change source]

For the UEFA Euro 2032 the Turkish Football Federation planned to renovate the stadium. The stands would be closer to the pitch, making it a football stadium with a new capacity of 72,000[12] It is expected to be lowered than its current capacity in time for that year as one of the ten Turkish venues in the Italian-Turkish joint bid. Ultimately, the Euro 2032 tournament would be awarded to Turkey along with Italy.

References[change | change source]

  1. "AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (aet)". BBC. 25 May 2005. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  2. [1] Archived 24 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine JSK Architects
  3. "Official website for Turkey's Euro 2016 bid: The Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul". Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  4. "Istanbul to host 2020 UEFA Champions League Final". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 24 May 2018. Archived from the original on 15 July 2018. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  5. "UEFA competitions to resume in August". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 17 June 2020. Archived from the original on 25 August 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  6. "UEFA Champions League final to move to Portugal to allow 6,000 fans of each team to attend". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 13 May 2021. Archived from the original on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  7. Cite error: The named reference 2023UCLF was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  8. "GHdesign Ataturk Stadium". Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  9. "picture of the project". Archived from the original on 28 April 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  10. "UEFA EURO 2024 Turkey Bid Brochure". Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  11. "Bosphorus Olympic Stadium Plans". Archived from the original on 17 May 2022. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  12. "Turkey chosen as co-host for football's Euro 2032". Retrieved 11 October 2023.

Other websites[change | change source]