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Hrazdan Stadium ( ) is a multi-use, all-seater stadium in Yerevanmarker, Armeniamarker, built in 1972 with the financial support of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundationmarker. It is the largest stadium in Armenia, currently used for football matches. Hrazdan is the home stadium for the Armenia national team and Kilikia FC. The stadium is able to host 58,000, after the most recent reconstruction in 2008 which converted the stadium to an all-seater one. Before the reconstruction, the Hrazdan Stadium was able to hold up to 69,000. The stadium hosted the Armenian Cup finals several times 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 in the past.

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 thousand 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 national team’s games until 1999 when a smaller stadium in downtown Yerevan; the Hanrapetakan Stadiummarker 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 2003 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, the covered swimming pool an the sports hall which are located in the neighborhood with the east tribune of the stadium in Hrazdan river canyon, were also renovated.

Shortly after its renovation the Hrazdan Stadium hosted Armenia's match against Turkey on September 6, 2008. The crucial match was attended by presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Abdullah Gul, with the presence of more than 38,000 spectators.

Architecture

Gallery

Image:Picture 665_resize.jpg|Hrazdan stadium after the renovation of 2008Image:Picture 653_resize.jpg|Hrazdan stadium

References



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