Iconic Turkey stadium to be operable soon


Turkey Izmir new stadium August 2020 Image: Izmir Explorer

The new version of the iconic Altay Alsancak Stadium at Izmir in Turkey is structurally complete, at least when it comes to the primary elements. In early 2021, the first ball should roll on the field that saw Turkish league’s first goal in history.

Recently, the leader of Izmir Sports Clubs Association Foundation (IZVAK), Ali Erten, visited the stadium construction site in Izmir. The official informed fans that all rough structural work has been completed at the new 15,000-seat stadium, with focus now shifting to installation, systems and furnishing. The new venue will cost TRY 54.88 mln.

Altay Alsancak Stadium was a multifunctional stadium in İzmir, Turkey, but was employed mostly for football matches. The stadium could hold 15,358 spectators and was built in 1929. In 1959, it staged Turkey’s first-ever Premier League game. The stadium was partially owned by Altay SK. Due to safety concerns during a potential earthquake, the stadium was demolished in July 2015. A new 15,000 capacity stadium is currently under construction on the site of the old stadium, and is expected to be completed in 2021.

The development is already lagging two years behind schedule. But, fans have a reason to rejoice because it is being projected that the latest deadline of early 2021 as regards completing the stadium will be met.

Though the inaugural game issue is still something which is far away, Erten hinted that the field of play should be usable for the second part of the season.

Apart from all concrete work having been delivered, the roof is also in place, as is the distinctive white-black membrane envelope around the stands. Only behind the south end there are openings in the stadium bowl, in both corners of the away section.

Groundbreaking on the new stadium, replacement for the legendary Alsancak, took place nearly three years back, in early September 2017. Initially, the project was set for delivery in mid-2019, then mid-2020 and now in early 2021, with handover expected in January.

Erten acknowledged that the global outbreak of coronavirus hampered the project progress work. It seems Izmir’s most decorated club Altay SK will be able to return to their home ground during the 2020-21 seasons.

Altay SK is a Turkish professional football club based in the City of Izmir. Formed in 1914, they are the most successful Izmir-based club with 16 championships in various competitions.

Altay Alsancak Stadium details

Demolished in 2015, the old Altay Alsancak Stadium was considered one of the most iconic in Turkey, in operation since 1910. It was closed due to negative seismic safety evaluation and for some time it was considered that its replacement facility would be moved to another location. This would effectively leave the heart of Izmir without a football field, let alone a stadium.

Despite a very tight plot eventually it proved feasible to fit a futuristic facility at the site of the old Alsancak stadium. First designed with two tiers and only two stands, it was then presented as a three-sided stadium with a single level of seating. The north end, just like in the old stadium, will remain without any seating.

The concept was drawn in 2016 and by late April 2017 construction company Metro was selected to deliver the stadium in 18 months time.

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