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Atatürk Olympic Stadium


Atatürk Olympic Stadium ( ) located in İkitelli, a district in the western outskirts of Istanbulmarker, is the largest-capacity stadium of Turkeymarker. 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 75,486 (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 IOCmarker 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 Stadiummarker, and this was criticized by other teams. Galatasaray eventually returned back 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.

Renovation

From 2002 to 2005 the stadium had a capacity of 80,597 (all-seater). This was later reduced to 75,486 (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.

Records

Attendance Records
Rank Attendance Date Game
1 79,414 31.07.2002 Galatasaray SK - Olympiacos CFP
2 71,334 27.09.2003 Galatasaray SK - Fenerbahçe SKmarker
3 70,858 12.09.2006 Galatasaray SK - FC Girondins de Bordeaux
4 70,024 25.05.2005 AC Milan - Liverpool FC
5 66,300 30.08.2003 Galatasaray SK - PFC CSKA
6 62,620 09.08.2003 Galatasaray SK - Diyarbakırspor


The opening match between Galatasaray SK - Olympiacos CFP also marked the record attendance for a football game in Turkey.

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