Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium
Fenerbahçe Åžükrü SaracoÄŸlu Stadium ( Turkish pronunciation: ) is a football stadium in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul, Turkey, and is the home venue of Fenerbahçe S.K.. It was inaugurated in 1908 and renovated between 1999 and 2006. On October 4, 2006, after numerous inspections by the UEFA, Fenerbahçe Åžükrü SaracoÄŸlu Stadium was selected to host the 2009 UEFA Cup Final that went down to history as the last Final of the UEFA Cup football tournament, which will be replaced by the UEFA Europa League starting from the 2009-2010 season. Following the UEFA Cup Final game in May 2009, construction works began to add a retractable roof and further increase the stadium's seating capacity. Fenerbahçe Åžükrü SaracoÄŸlu Stadium has gone through a complete rebuilding process which involved each stand being demolished and rebuilt in turn. Each stand has been built closer to the pitch, getting the fans closer to the action on the field. This style of stadium has never before existed in Turkey, as the stands are usually separated from the pitch by a running track. The "Maraton" stands can hold up to 14,500 supporters. This tribune includes "Boxes" (or Lodges) which are rented out from the club on a yearly basis. These boxes are fully-equipped with TV screens, Internet, working and meeting areas, dining facilities and many other luxuries; as the first and most luxurious of their kind in Turkey. Facing the Maraton tribune, at the opposite side, is the "Fenerium" tribune (named after the official fan-shop chain of Fenerbahçe) with its 15,000 seating capacity and the luxurious "1907" zone. There also are equally luxurious boxes and lodges here. Apart from the boxes section of this tribune, every single seating has an LCD monitor behind the chair, for every supporter to follow the game from the live coverage and catch the replays. Including the two remaining tribunes behind the goal areas, namely the "Migros" and "Telsim" tribunes (named after the sponsors of each tribune's construction projects), which both have a seating capacity of 10,500, the total official capacity of the stadium is 50,000.

Before Fenerbahçe Åžükrü SaracoÄŸlu Stadyumu was built , the field was known as Papazın Çayırı. The field, however, became the very first football pitch of Turkey, where the first league games of the Istanbul Football League were all held successively. In 1908, local teams of the league needed a regular soccer field, so this land was leased from the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II for 30 Ottoman gold pounds a year. The total construction cost was 3,000 Ottoman gold pounds. The name was changed to the Union Club Field after the club which made the highest donation for the construction. The Union Club Field was used by many teams in Ä°stanbul, including the owner, Union Club (which changed its name to Ä°ttihatspor after World War I), Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Beşiktaş. However, it had lost its importance when a bigger venue, the Taksim Stadium, was built in 1922, inside the courtyard of the historic Taksim Topçu Kışlası (Taksim Artillery Barracks), which was located at the present-day Taksim Gezi Parkı (Taksim Park). Ä°ttihatspor (which had close relations with the political Ä°ttihat ve Terakki), was forced to sell it to the state, in which Åžükrü SaracoÄŸlu was a member of the CHP government. Thus, the ownership of the stadium passed to the state, but the field was immediately leased to Fenerbahçe. Later, on May 27th 1933, Fenerbahçe purchased the stadium from the government when Åžükrü SaracoÄŸlu was the President of Fenerbahçe, for either the symbolic amount of 1 TL or the worth of the stadium which was 9000 TL . The name of the field was changed to Fenerbahçe Stadium, and this made Fenerbahçe SK the first football club in Turkey to own its stadium, with the help of the Åžükrü SaracoÄŸlu government. In the following years, Fenerbahçe SK renovated the stadium and increased its seating capacity. By the year 1949, Fenerbahçe Stadium was the largest football venue in Turkey, with a seating capacity of 25,000. The name of the stadium was changed once more in 1998, becoming Fenerbahçe Åžükrü SaracoÄŸlu Stadium, named after Fenerbahçe's legendary chairman and Turkey's 6th Prime Minister Åžükrü SaracoÄŸlu. In 1999, the latest round of renovations and capacity increasing projects started. The tribunes on the four sides of the stadium were torn down one at a time, as the Turkish Super League seasons progressed, and the entire renewal and construction project was finalised in 2006, with the immense efforts of the Fenerbahçe president Aziz Yıldırım and the team's board of directors. Since the completion of the enlargement and renewal works in 2006, it is the most attractive, effective and advanced football stadium of Turkey.

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