Hrazdan StadiumEdit profile
Hrazdan Stadium (Armenian: Հրազդան մարզադաշտ) is a multi-use, all-seater stadium in Yerevan, Armenia, opened on 19 May 1971. With the financial support of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the stadium was built in a remarkable period of 11 months.
It is the largest stadium in Armenia, currently used for football matches. Hrazdan is the home stadium for the Armenia national team, FC Ararat Yerevan and Ulisses, formerly for FC Kilikia Yerevan. The stadium is able to host 53,849 after the most recent reconstruction in 2008, which converted the stadium to an all-seater one. Before the reconstruction, "Hrazdan" was able to hold up to 70,000 spectaors. It was in the top five stadiums of the Soviet Union by its capacity. The stadium hosted the Armenian Cup finals for many occasions as well as the opening ceremony of the Pan-Armenian Games in 2003, in addition to various athletics competitions. The stadium was also one of the home grounds for the USSR national team during the late period of the Soviet Union.History
The stadium hosted some glorious days for the Armenian football during Soviet era. The Armenians celebrated Ararat Yerevan's double of the Soviet football in 1973, which allowed them to play in the European Cup. Reaching the quarterfinals, they lost the first leg to defending and future champion Bayern Munich with a 2-0 while they won the 2nd leg 1-0 in Hrazdan stadium in front of a remarkable 75,000 spectators.
In 1989, a year after the 1988 Spitak Earthquake that killed 25,000 people and left more than 500,000 homeless, along with the break out of the Karabakh movement and the rise of nationalism, hundreds of thousands of Armenians were looking for some kind of temporary diversion from the devastation and feeling the importance of nationalist activities. More than 110,000 fans packed the Hrazdan stadium to hear revolutionary and patriotic songs performed by the Armenian famous singer Harout Pamboukjian. Then-Minister of Culture Yuri Melik-Ohanjanian remarked this was the highest-attended performance in the history of Armenia.
After the independence of Armenia, the arena hosted the matches of the national team until 1999 when a smaller stadium in downtown Yerevan; the Hanrapetakan Stadium became its home ground. The largest number of spectators for the National team was recorded on October 9, 1996, in a 1998 World Cup qualification match against Germany which was ended in the favour of the Germans with the result of 5-1 and attended by more than 50,000 fans.
In 2004 the stadium was privatized and sold to the Hrazdan Holding CJSC, who began to set up a renovation process in 2005. By the end of 2008 the stadium became all-seater.
Shortly after its renovation the Stadium hosted Armenia's match against Turkey on 6 September 2008, which was the first match Armenia had played at ground since a Euro 2000 qualifying match against France on 8 September 1999. The crucial match was attended by presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Abdullah Gul, with the presence of more than 38,000 spectators.
The Stadium has also been used as a concert venue for the Tata Simonyan 2010 world tour.Architecture
The history of the stadium is closely related with the history of Armenian football. The Stadium which was built in a record period of 11 months (which is unique for such constructions), is the first in the world to be built in a mountainous area.
The architects of the stadium were K. Hakobian and G. Musheghian from Armenia. The construction process was supervised by engineer E. Tossunian. The architectural group of the stadium was awarded with the title of the best construction of the year in 1971 and honoured by the Soviet government.
Besides the grandstands, the stadium has 10 tiers with the capacity of 600 spectators. "Hrazdan" is served by 4 light towers which include 625 projectors. The complex also includes a reserve stadium, covered swimming pools, a shopping centre and cafés.
After the reconstruction, Hrazdan held UEFA three-star status until that rating was superseded by a new system of classification.