Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadyumu

Atatürk Olympic Stadium (Turkish: Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı) located in İkitelli, a district in the western outskirts of Istanbul, is the largest-capacity stadium of Turkey. The stadium takes its name from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Its construction began in 1999 and was completed in 2002. It was built for Turkey's failed 2008 Olympic Games bid and cost about €350 million. The 2008 games were awarded to Beijing.

With its 76,092 (all-seater) capacity and Olympic size, it was granted the "5-star sports complex" title by the UEFA in 2004, enabling it to host the finals of UEFA events. The 2005 UEFA Champions League Final between A.C. Milan and Liverpool F.C. was played on May 25, 2005, at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium. The stadium is also certified by the IAAF and IOC as a first-class venue for track and field, and has hosted several European athletic competitions.

Galatasaray SK played its home games at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium during the 2003–2004 football season, due to the renovation of their own venue, the Ali Sami Yen Stadium, and this was criticized by other teams. Galatasaray eventually returned to Ali Sami Yen for the 2004–2005 season, but played some of its 2006–2007 UEFA Champions League games at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium. Sivasspor also played some of its Süper Lig home games at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium due to the bad weather conditions in their original hometown stadium. Istanbul BB, also of the Süper Lig, play all their home games in the venue.

2005 UEFA Champions League Final

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 game between AC Milan and Liverpool FC, which was played on May 25, 2005.

The Ataturk stadium was the scene of what was the greatest ever come back in a European Cup or Champions League final as Liverpool lifted their 5th European Cup after a breath-taking game.

UEFA Euro 2016 plans

To meet all requirements of the UEFA for being able to organize the Euro 2016 football championship, the authorities will undertake major reconstruction works on this stadium starting from early 2011. Increasing the stadium's capacity will enable over 90,000 spectators to enjoy the matches of the UEFA Euro 2016 in what will become the world's largest stadium with every seat under cover. To increase the net and gross capacity to 81,106 and 90,115 respectively, the pitch will be 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 will be extended. Furthermore, 12 new boxes will be added to the west stand and 32 to the east stand in order to add to the current number of 36 skyboxes; this will provide a total of 80 skyboxes after the reconstruction.

U2 360° Tour

On September 6, 2010, the renowned Irish rock band U2 gave a concert at the stadium which reportedly attracted over 55,000 fans, as a part of their U2 360° Tour, the opening act of which was performed by the group Snow Patrol.


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