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Ali Sami Yen Stadium (WSPE-164)


Product Description


Istanbul, Turkey


Ali Sami Yen Stadium (Turkish: Ali Sami Yen Stadi) was the home of the football club Galatasaray SK in Istanbul, Turkey, from 1964 to 2010. It is named after the founder of the club, Ali Sami Yen. The stadium has a capacity of 22,800 (all-seater) and is situated in the Mecidiyeköy quarter of the ?i?li district, at the center of the European side of the city.

Between 1921 and 1939, Galatasaray and the two other major football clubs of Istanbul, Be?ikta? JK and Fenerbahçe SK, played their matches at the historic Taksim Stadium on Taksim Square, which was located inside the courtyard of the Ottoman era Taksim Artillery Barracks (Taksim Topçu K??las?) built by Sultan Abdülmecid I in the 1840s; the surrounding walls of which were transformed into tribunes. Taksim Stadium was demolished in 1939 and was replaced with the present-day Taksim Park (Taksim Gezi Park?) in the 1940s and 1950s. As a result, the major football teams of Istanbul had to find a new stadium to play their matches. Galatasaray Sports Club decided to build a large, modern stadium, and construction works began in 1943. Due to the difficulties faced during the World War II years, only a small stadium could initially be built, which was opened in 1945. However, construction works continued on the site and the current stadium was completed in 1964.

Ali Sami Yen Stadium was inaugurated on December 14, 1964, with a friendly game between Turkey and Bulgaria. Unfortunately, tragedy struck during the opening match: in one of the stands many people fell onto the first floor, which caused numerous injuries, but luckily none of them were fatal. Spotlights were added to the stadium in 1965, and night games began to be played (the lighting system was renovated in 1993). The stadium is made up of 2 identical lateral stands which are covered by a roof: the Numaral? (Numbered) stand, where the TV cameras are located; and the Kapal? (Covered) stand, where the most fanatical team supporters usually view the games. The two other stands, behind the goal gates, are the Yeni Aç?k (New Open), with 2 tiers, and the Eski Aç?k (Old Open), with the electronic scoreboard.

In the past, games were played in front of more than 35,000 spectators in this stadium, which is nicknamed "Hell" by Galatasaray's supporters because of its intimidating atmosphere and the enthusiastic support of the fans who often make mass use of torches, smoke, drums, flags and giant posters to create visual grandeur and apply psychological pressure on visiting teams. Ali Sami Yen is important for Galatasaray because it has seen many victories against renowned European football clubs, such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Milan, Manchester United and many others.

The stadium is located in Mecidiyeköy, one of the most crowded quarters of central Istanbul, surrounded by dense urban development. In recent years, numerous proposals have been put forward to demolish the current stadium and build a larger one on the same location, but this was impossible due to the lack of space.

The new home ground of Galatasaray is the newly built Türk Telekom Arena in the Seyrantepe quarter near Maslak financial district in ?i?li. The new stadium, which was opened 15 January 2011, has a capacity of 52,695 seats, making it the largest private stadium owned by a club in Turkey.

Unused 4" x 6" continental size chrome.

World Stadiums Postcard Edition

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