Azərsun Arena (Tofiq İsmayılov adına Suraxanı qəsəbə stadionu)
|Inauguration||26/09/2015 (Qarabağ - Neftçi, 1-1)|
|Construction||08/2013 - 08/2015|
|Design||SIYA architecture and engineering|
|Address||Malik Mustafayev St, Baku 1049, Azerbaijan|
Azərsun Arena – stadium description
Qarabagh was the first team from outside Baku to win Azerbaijan's championship. Unfortunately in that same year, 1993, the Nagorno-Karabakh War forced them out of western city of Agdam. The team, whose manager had died during the war, settled at the post-Soviet Tofiq Ismailov Stadionu, in Surakhani, eastern suburb of Baku.
Though it had only one grandstand, the stadium was able to hold up to 15,000 people with terracing. After being taken over by Qarabagh, it was converted into all-seater and capacity fell. Because return to Agdam was deemed not viable and the country's food mogul Azersun took the club over, decision was made to build a brand new stadium in 2012.
Thanks to re-orientation of the playing field, not one but two full-sized pitches were fitted within the old stadium's footprint. They had to be conjoined in order to fit, which means the main field has three grandstands rather than four. Both the south and north ends are single-tiered (south for away fans, north for the home crowd), while the main stand in the east is double-tiered.
As a result a compact stadium for 5,800 people (all seats covered) was built, able to meet UEFA Category 3 criteria. Sufficient both in standard and capacity, the new stadium serves as domestic-match home, while internationals are played at the central Tofiq Bahramov Stadionu.
Delivered in 2015, following two years of construction, the stadium was opened with a classic between Qarabagh and Neftci. Interestingly, both teams had a period of tenancy at the old Ismailov Stadionu. The main stadium and training field are complimented by club hotel, all of which were financed by Azersun. It's thus no wonder that the company also owns naming rights.