Aleppo International Stadium
|Full name||Aleppo International stadium|
|Owner||Government of Syria|
|Operator||General Sports Federation of Syria|
|Field size||105 x 68 m|
|Built||1980 to 2007|
|Opened||3 April 2007|
|Construction cost||US$ 30,000,000|
The Aleppo International Stadium (Arabic: ملعب حلب الدولي) is an Olympic-standard, multi-use, all-covered and all-seater stadium in the Syrian city of Aleppo. It is the largest stadium in Syria, and is currently used mostly for football matches. It serves as a home ground of Al-Ittihad football club. It also hosted some home games of the Syrian football team. The stadium was opened in 2007 and holds 53,200 spectators. The venue is located near the al-Hamadaniah Sports City in the southern districts of Aleppo.
The construction of the stadium was launched in 1980, based on the design of the Polish architect pl:Stanisław Karpiel, with the assistance of architect Fawzi Khalifeh. It was scheduled to be completed in 1987 to become ready for the Mediterranean games. However, the construction process was stopped and delayed for 2 decades due to financial difficulties, until 2003 when the officials of the Syrian Government implemented a serious programme to overcome all difficulties.
Finally, after a record period of 27 years of construction, the stadium became ready with its entire facilities in early 2007. Officially, the stadium was opened on 3 April 2007 with an inaugural friendly match between al-Ittihad and Fenerbahçe of Turkey which ended in a 2-2 draw in front of 75 thousand spectators. The first goal scored in the stadium came at the 8th minute of the inaugural match, through Abdul Fattah Al Agha. The Syrian president Bashar Al Assad attended the opening ceremony and the match.
The stadium has five levels: the first level is the sport ground itself, with its surrounding facilities, the second level consists of training halls, different facilities and support services. The rest three levels are designed to host the attendants' seats; the first tier holds up to 25,000 seats while the second and the third host 15,000 each. The VIP hall located on the third level, is designed and decorated with oriental woodworks.
The stadium occupies an area of 3.5 hectares out of the 33 hectares of the whole sports complex. It is provided with two large electronic screens (10 tones, 7X15 meters each). The seats are all in light blue color with a small number of white colored seats placed in the eastern tribune to form the word "Aleppo" both in Arabic and English languages. The stadium is all-covered with a pre-built concrete which is the second largest one of its type in the world. The parking area of the arena hosts more than 8,000 vehicles. The entry to the stadium is secured through 26 gates.