Construction of a new stadium has just begun in the Turkish capital, on the site of Ankara 19 Mayıs Stadyumu, which was demolished in 2018. The venue was originally planned to have a capacity of 55,000 spectators. However, the project has been skimmed and the arena will ultimately be able to accommodate "only" 45,000 people.
Turkey was one of two candidates bidding to host Euro 2024. Ankara was scheduled to be the arena of one of the semi-finals of the championship, so according to the European federation's requirements, a stadium with a capacity of more than 50,000 spectators would have to be built in the city. Therefore, Ankara Stadyumu, according to the original 2018 concept, was to hold 55 000 fans.
As we know, greater recognition in the eyes of UEFA delegates went to Germany and that country will host the tournament. Meanwhile, the arena project in the Turkish capital has remained frozen for four long years.
As the old proverb has it, there is luck in leisure, and thus, Anno Domini 2022, the investment, in a slimmed-down form, was given the green light. On June 13 this year, a deal was signed with the contractor, which became a consortium of Yıldızlar Grup and ASL İnşaat. The winner was selected in a closed tender to which seven parties were invited. The value of the contract is 4.52 billion Turkish lira, all coming from public funds. Construction of the stadium is expected to be completed by 2025 at the latest.
The most recent concept by Bahadır Kul Architects involves the aforementioned reduction in capacity to 45,000 seats. The auditorium will consist of high, two-tier stands, surrounding the pitch on all sides. Their finial will be undulating and the highest point will be located in the central section along the pitch. The seating is to be white and red.
The stands will be fully roofed and the canopy itself will be in a heavily convex form to resemble a dome. The roof will be supported by four huge arched trusses and a large part of it will be glazed. Compared to Ankara 19 Mayıs Stadyumu, the pitch will be rotated and positioned on a north-south axis.
The surroundings of the arena will be completely reorganised. Four main entrance promenades will lead into the stadium, one on each side. The nearby athletics stadium, indoor arena, training pitches and tennis courts are to be demolished. In their place, new parking spaces and green areas will be created.
The construction of Ankara Stadyumu would bring the Turkish national football team to the capital much more often than before. The facility would also attract a range of other sporting and non-sporting events. Local club Ankaragücü is also set to become the host of the new stadium.