After Ali Sami Yen, now it's another of the cult grounds of Istanbul passing to history. Fans of Beşiktaş sold out the 33th round game and afterwards took whatever was possible as souvenirs. Now it's time for redevelopment to begin.
This was the last home game of the season, but most importantly the last home game of Beşiktaş at their outdated, though charming Inönü. Visiting Genclerbirligi from Ankara were used by home players to make a worthy farewell, as the game ended with a 3:0 victory for Istanbul's 'big three' powerhouse.
No wonder the game sold out and had an electric atmosphere. Fans wanted to make their tribute to the place they've spent the last 66 years in. Pre-match build-up did include riots in the streets around, but the game itself was all about making it big atmophere-wise. The eastern side, occupied by fanatic Çarşı community was, as usual, the most vocal one.
As is tradition in Europe with stadia being closed for demolition, supporters were allowed to enter the pitch after final whistle and take souvenirs – seats, grass and literally everything they could demount and carry.
As the 2012/13 season ends, demolition is set to begin in June. Only the western gate of the stadium and southern walls are to be left intact. All remaining infrastructure will be replaced by new one, especially the stands, which will now get almost full cover and will seats over 40,000 people on two tiers, including a large corporate part.
All work on the redevelopment should be done by November 2014, while the budget should be kept within $100 million.