Thirty stadiums in 27 cities: Inside Turkey's plan to host major football tournaments

The football association of Turkey has lifted the lid the country’s huge stadium-building drive, and how it can help the nation win the right to host the world’s biggest tournaments.

Eighteen modern grounds have been constructed in the country since 2007, with a further 12 to open in the next few years and several set for completion in 2017.

This is the result of a concerted push by the government to build “30 stadiums in 27 cities” in a wide-ranging revamp of Turkey’s sporting infrastructure.

A spokesperson from the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) told CLAD that the new prevalence of modern multipurpose stadiums means the country could “easily host international competitions,” such as the World Cup and European Championship.

“Most of the Turkey’s stadiums were made in the 1950s and were not big enough for modern demands of match operation, spectator comfort, media facilities and fan engagement,” the spokesperson said. “Clubs were unable to earn additional income on their matchday revenues because of the poor infrastructure.

“Now the Sports Ministry and the Housing Estate and Construction Department of the Prime Minister’s Office (TOKi) are working together to destroy the old stadiums and construct new residential buildings, shopping centres, parks and modern 15,000-50,000 capacity stadiums on the old land, improving these areas of the city.”

The spokesperson said that a number of the stadiums have been built to minimise their negative environmental impact by using low-carbon materials and introducing rainwater harvesting and renewable energy sources.

According to Akif Çagatay Kilic, the youth and sport minister, the government has so far invested 3.4bn Turkish Lira (US$898.8m, €832.3m, £717.4m) in the 30 stadiums, including seven that are currently in the tender and bidding phase. His ministry, which owns most of the land surrounding the country’s sporting facilities, will share the income from new residential, leisure and retail developments with TOKi in return for its part of the investment.

The “30 stadiums in 27 cities” project has been inspired by the success of the Kadir Has Stadium in Kayseri Municipality. City officials agreed with the Sports Ministry to demolish the old ground and replace it with a modern 30,000 capacity stadium, designed by Turkish architects Ofiss Mimarca, for local clubs Kayserispor and Kayseri Erciyesspor.

At the same time, a congress centre and a sports complex housing an athletics stadium, an Olympic pool, a handball and volleyball arena, two facilities for amateur sports and two mini indoor sports halls were built around the ground. In order to cover the ministry’s costs for developing the land, it runs and profits from the new sporting facilities.

The project, which started in 2006 and was completed in 2008, caught the attention of Recep Tayyip Erdogan – then prime minister and now president – who started the sweeping collaboration between TOKi and the ministry with a view to Turkey bidding for future international tournaments.

According to TFF president Yildirim Demirören, the new stadiums will “give a facelift to the future of football” by increasing the number of spectators and ensuring they have a safer and more enjoyable experience. He told national media that the stadium-building drive will also “make a major contribution to the development of sports outside football and transform cities by creating a new centre of gravity that boosts social and economic development.”

30 stadiums in 27 cities

Cities with newly-completed stadiums

Afyon (cap: 15,000)

Antalya (cap: 33,032)

Bursa (cap: 43,877)

Eskisehir (cap: 33,000)

Gaziantep (cap: 33,000)

Konya (cap: 42,059)

Mersin (cap: 25,534)

Sivas (cap: 27,532)

Trabzon (cap: 41,461)

Istanbul (Galatasaray) (cap: 52,647)

Cities with stadiums under construction

Adana (cap: 33,000)

Batman (cap:15,000)

Çorum (cap: 33,000)

Diyarbakir (cap: 33,000)

Giresun (cap: 20,000)

Hatay (cap: 25,000)

Izmir Karsiyaka (cap: 33,000)

Izmir Göztepe (cap: 33,000)

Kocaeli (cap: 33,000)

Malatya (cap: 25,000)

Manisa (cap: 25,000)

Sakarya (cap: 25,000)

Samsun (cap: 33,000)

Seven other projects are currently in the bidding phase.

Turkey  Turkish Football Federations  stadiums  architecture  design  Recep Tayyip Erdoga 
The football association of Turkey has lifted the lid the country’s huge stadium-building drive, and how it can help the nation win the right to host the world’s biggest tournaments. Eighteen modern grounds have been constructed in the country since 2007, with a further 12 to open in the next few years and several set for completion in 2017. This is the result of a concerted push by the government
CLD,SAR,ARC,DES,DEV,INV
The success of the Kadir Has Stadium in Kayseri Municipality inspired the '30 stadiums in 27 cities' project / Wiki Commons
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