Is it cool or just too much? Either way the giant crocodile head in Bursa is gradually moving towards completion. We should see its final shape by the end of June.
Ever since its initial presentation back in 2010, this stadium was always focused around its most iconic, even if arguably tacky element: the giant crocodile head attached to its most exposed north end. Bursaspor supporters have had to wait quite a while for this finishing touch. The stadium has been in operation for 1.5 years already and only now construction is nearing its end.
Over the weekend Bursa mayor Recep Altepe visited the construction site to admire the basic state of the crocodile's head. He confirmed that both levels of floor space are now created, though clearly only the basic construction work has ended and further efforts are required.
Overall the available space is divided into two levels. The “lower jaw” will see the main banqueting hall, a spacious one with high ceiling. Attached to the “palate” will be smaller hall with more impressive overview of the area. Altogether 1,000 m2 of space will be created for conference, banqueting and other event uses.
According to Altepe the head will show its true shape by the end of Ramadan, or within the next two weeks, when it will get covered with green membrane. One can understand some scepticism from Bursaspor supporters, though.
They've been criticising mismanagement around this project by local authorities for quite some time and it's certain at this point that the head won't be entirely ready within weeks. However, later this year we should finally be able to appreciate the final shape.
One question, pardon the pun, is whether Recep Tayyip Erdogan won't mind this stadium finally getting its head done. After all, Erdogan had previously argued against the entire crocodile symbolism as crocodiles aren't indigenous to Turkey. And the recent ban of the word “arena” in stadium naming means that the common nickname Timsah Arena will surely not become official...