Still under construction, without many fans of Bursaspor, but officially inaugurated. Timsah Arena in Bursa was opened by Turkish president, while some protested and piping burst…
Today was a day of glory in Bursa, or at least so it was planned by local authorities. The Crocodile Arena (Timsah Arena) saw its first game with none other than Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan doing the honours.
But the event, despite filling the stadium initially, was heavily controversial. Many Bursaspor supporters protested (just check the #YeniStadAcılısınaGitmiyorum hashtag in social media) because they saw it as a political event without the actual tenant club being involved.
Instead of Bursaspor, the opening game was played by celebrities of the presidential and municipal teams. And, unsurprisingly, their game didn’t manage to keep people inside the stadium. Majority had already left during the match.
As if this wasn’t controversial enough, the stadium’s piping burst in one area, leading to a collapse of the ceiling and local flooding. This should be addressed along with other issues, because the stadium is actually still under construction. And the thing we’re still eager to see is the actual crocodile head…
Story since the first spade
Construction of the new stadium along Nilüfer River in western Bursa began in June 2011. Initial plans suggested opening already in 2013, but the deadline was postponed significantly. In the end even opening in December 2015 took place with unfinished infrastructure and secondary structures.
Large plot of 40 hectares is dominated by the stadium’s somewhat unusual form. Primarily, from the outside, it was designed to resemble a resting crocodile. The idea might seem strange as there are no crocodiles living in Bursa, but the team Bursaspor is nicknamed Crocodiles, thus the identity.
Green membranes and glass create the skin, while the northern stand is topped with a giant literal head (to be ready in 2016). It should be the stadium’s highest point at over 43 meters.
Secondly, the stadium has a unique layout of the stands. Western main grandstand is divided into three tiers. East side has two levels, while both ends have single massive stands. South one for locals of the Teksas community and north one with a significant away section. And on top of all this a continuous ring of 72 skyboxes ranging from 10 to over 30 seats.
The stadium comprises a massive floor space of 190,000 square meters, including 50,000 for commercial and office use. The number also includes underground parking for over 640 cars (1,500+ with the open parking site).
Fans will enjoy 35 catering points and 789 toilets. 90 gates will in turn allow for very fast evacuation of almost 44,000 people – in just 8 minutes.