Stade Ahmed Zabana
|Other names||Stade Henri Fouquès-Duparc (1957-1962), Stade Municipal (1962-1965), Stade 19 Juin 1965 (1965-?)|
|Inauguration||1958 (Real Madrid - Stade de Reims)|
|Renovations||1988, 2005, 2008|
|Record attendance||60,000 (Algeria - Brazil, 1965)|
|Address||El Hamri, 31000 Oran, Algeria|
Stade Ahmed Zabana – stadium description
When it was built in 1950s, it received the name of then mayor Henri Foques-Duprac. The French patron was overthrown soon after as Algeria gained independence. Later the ground was called Stade 19 Juin 1965, commemorating coup d'etat, while now it bears the name of Ahmed Zabana, local revolutionist.
Though the names were changing, the stadium remains almost as it was in 1950s. Its most distinctive feature is the shape: when seen from above it resembles the letter D, having two rounded curves and two corners. The corners (west) were used to accommodate floodlight masts (inside the bowl, obstructing view), while on the opposite side masts were located outside the bowl. This hasn't changed until 2008, when new masts were built, all outside the stadium. It was the largest change to date, although stands were refurbished as well.
They never received seats, though, which leaves capacity as it used to be in the beginning, around 40,000. That doesn't mean that larger crowds weren't seen here, like in the exhibition game of Algeria and Brazil in 1965, seen by 60,000 people.
The stadium hosted many festive games with domestic finals or friendlies, like the opening game, when Real Madrid were formally hosts.