Vodafone Arena

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For the arena in Suva, Fiji, see Vodafone Arena (Fiji).
Vodafone Arena
The Eagle's Nest
Vodafone Arena Logo.png
Vodafone Arena Official Logo
Location Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey
Coordinates 41°02′21.14″N 28°59′41.07″E / 41.0392056°N 28.9947417°E / 41.0392056; 28.9947417Coordinates: 41°02′21.14″N 28°59′41.07″E / 41.0392056°N 28.9947417°E / 41.0392056; 28.9947417
Owner Beşiktaş J.K.
Operator Beşiktaş J.K.
Executive suites 144
Capacity 41,903 seated
Field size 105 m × 68 m (344 ft × 223 ft)
Surface Hybrid grass
Broke ground October 2013
Architect Bünyamin Derman, DB Architects [1]
Official Website

The Vodafone Arena will be an all-seater, multi-purpose stadium in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey.[2][3] It will be the reconstructed home ground for Beşiktaş J.K. The stadium is being built on the site of Beşiktaş's former home, BJK Inonu Stadyumu. It will have a capacity of 41,903 spectators.

The Vodafone Arena will house 143 luxury lodges, and one "1903 Lounge" which will entertain 1,903 spectators in total. The "1903 stands" will have a capacity of 636 spectators. The new stadium will also have 2,123 square metres of restaurants, 2,520 square metres of terrace restaurants and a VIP parking of 600 vehicles. The ground will be a 'smart stadium', where fans will enjoy StadiumVision and Wi-Fi technology, being planned in conjunction with Cisco.[4]

The demolition works on the BJK Inonu Stadyumu started on 2 June 2013, following the end of the promotion play-offs of the TFF First League. Construction works are scheduled to be completed in April 2015, and the estimated cost of the project is around $80 million. The project of the new stadium was designed by DB architects. The old stadium has been demolished, except for the Eski Açık stand, since this stand and its towers are historical monuments. The Eski Açık tribune will be re-arranged like an antique amphitheatre. The new stadium will "be in harmony with the natural and historic landscape of the Bosphorus" when seen from the sea.



In 1936, the French architect and city planner Henri Prost (1874–1959) was invited to Turkey by President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He was tasked with the preparation of Istanbul's rough-cut urban planning and rebuilding, which lasted until 1951. In the first plan Prost, thought that district of Sisli might be a good location for a city stadium, however the governor of Istanbul, Muhittin Üstündağ asked from Prost to put the stadium to Dolmabahçe district instead of the stable of the Dolmabahçe Palace as a fait accompli in his master city plan, which came into force in 1939.

The stables of dolmabahce. May 1906


The first BJK İnönü Stadium, originally named the Dolmabahçe Stadium was designed by Italian architect Paolo Vietti-Violi, who collaborated with Turkish architects Şinasi Şahingiray and Fazıl Aysu for preparing the project. The first foundation was laid on May 19, 1939, but the construction works were frozen due to the outbreak of the Second World War. The stadium was inaugurated on May 19, 1947, by İsmet İnönü, the second President of Turkey and himself a Beşiktaş fan, and Lütfi Kırdar, the Governor of Istanbul.

The initial capacity was 16,000. In the original project plan, there were two bronze statues of athlete figures at the Eski Açık tribune: One throwing a discus, and the other one throwing a javelin. However, the statues were never built due to financial concerns. The oil factory which was found behind the stadium was demolished to construct the Yeni Açık tribune at the west part of the stadium in 1950 (hence the name Yeni Açık, meaning the New Uncovered tribune; referring to the two covered tribunes (Numaralı and Kapalı) and the two uncovered tribunes (Eski Açık and Yeni Açık).) In 1952 The stadium was renamed as the Mithat Paşa Stadium, and later in 1973, it was renamed as the İnönü Stadium.[5] A leasing contract was signed between Beşiktaş JK and the Ministry of Youth and Sports in February 1998 which gave all usage rights of the İnönü Stadium to Beşiktaş JK for 49 years.

First Football Match[edit]

The first football match at the Dolmabahçe Stadium took place between Beşiktaş JK and AIK Stockholm of Sweden, on November 27, 1947, and the first goal in the stadium was scored by Süleyman Seba; the most famous and longest-presiding Chairman of the club (in the 1980s and 1990s) when he used to be a player of Beşiktaş JK. Beşiktaş lost this match 3–2.

Galatasaray S.K. and Fenerbahce S.K. have shared the stadium with Beşiktaş JK for many years, since the construction of the Ali Sami Yen Stadium, which is the home of Galatasaray football club, was completed in 1964. Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, the home of Fenerbahçe S.K., was renovated in 1982.


Renovation work took place at the BJK İnönü Stadium in 2004. The tartan track was removed within the scope of these activities and the ground level was lowered by 4 meters to increase the capacity of the stadium to 32,145 spectators. The press seats were relocated to the Numaralı tribune from the Kapalı tribune. The lounges that were found in the middle of the Kapalı tribune were demolished and for the first time in Turkey, the wire fence between the tribunes and the pitch were removed for space. The number of the gates were increased by 100%. A press centre for Beşiktaş TV was built inside the stadium. The toilets and the launch counters were renewed. The Yeni Açık tribune was covered with a metallic structure. It complies with the UEFA standards.

New Stadium Project[edit]

Due to the unique location of the BJK Inonu Stadyumu which is considered as one of the best stadiums in the world,[6] and its legal status as a "historic monument" protected by the High Council of Monuments of Turkey, the renewal project had to be modified and postponed several times and all official requests, efforts, renewal attempts were denied. In 2008, former president Yildirim Demiroren launched a project designed by HOK sports, with the capacity of 42,000 spectators. However, this project was also cancelled because of concerns about the new project didn't suit the historical environment of Beşiktaş. Finally, in 2013, actual president Fikret Orman completed the administrative procedures after a very long period of struggle, and got all the required permissions by proposing some design goals below.


Vodafone Arena is designed by the architect firm DB Architects.[7] Bünyamin Derman served as the project Architect of record. The stadium meets UEFA 4-category criteria, the strictest in the ranking defined by UEFA regulations for stadium infrastructure.

Vodafone Arena differs itself from modern stadiums by 3 design goals imposed by the authority and nature of the construction site. Thanks to these design goals the architecture of the stadium reflects history, heritage and prosperity.

The Colosseum (Coliseum) Architecture[edit]

Due to existence of the Dolmabahçe Palace, Clock Tower of Dolmabahçe, Dolmabahce Mosque and of course Bosphorus which are very close to Vodafone Arena, High Council of Monuments of Turkey demanded an ancient look which should fit to the surrounding historical area. Most of the proposed architectural designs for new stadium were modern structures, with glossy extern revetment made from metal, glass or composite materials. Hence to accomplish the first design goal, a colosseum architecture was proposed and admitted by the high council. The Colosseum Architecture was used in stadiums before (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Busch Memorial Stadium, etc.), but mostly several ten years ago.

The Waveform Stands[edit]

In the modern stadiums the height of the tribunes are mostly at the same level. Since the construction site of Vodafone Arena is too narrow and surrounded by the roads, the height of the tribunes, decrease especially at the corners and widen at the edges. The varying elevation creates a significant waveform-shape in the stands and gives a traditional look. The height of the east stand is very low which is another design goal imposed by the High Council to not ruin the silhouette of Bosphorus . Since the east-stands are just 100 meters away from the sea.

The Elliptical Design[edit]

The design of the majority of modern football stadiums are mostly square, rectangular with rounded corners or circular. The stadiums, which were built during the 20th century, includes tartan track, especially Olympic stadiums. Due to the tartan track the old stadiums have elliptic forms like the old Inönü stadium. To be faithful to the previous architecture which was designed in 1939 and coherent with the remaining historical two towers of the old Inonu stadium, the Vodafone Arena has also an elliptical form, although there is no tartan track inside the stadium. Proposed design repeats the same idea of perfect symmetry reached in 1939 by extending the main arc between the two old towers through all structure.


Environmental Compatibility[edit]

The new stadium project aimed to ensure a low environmental impact to the nature and its surroundings via the use of advanced state of the art sustainable technologies. This stadium will be constructed to reduce energy consumption from non-renewable energy sources by reducing waste and optimizing the resources available.Green Building concept of Vodafone Arena ensures environment friendly and resource efficient processes at each stage of construction, right from site selection and designing to construction by using Green Building certified construction materials, operation followed by maintenance, renovation or even demolition to seek minimum possible impact on environment.

The stadium is going to produce the electricity it needs using solar energy captured through photovoltaic panels[8] which can produce 500 kVA per year. This corresponds to an annual electricity consumption of about 100 average households and a CO2 saving of around 250 tonnes. The stadium will store rainwater in cisterns to use later for watering the pitch and other purposes. This alternative energy sources are aimed at helping stadium meet the criteria dictated by the Kyoto protocol by generating multiple results:

  • Intensive exploitation of solar energy through solar tracker tools
  • Reductions of greenhouse gases[9]
  • No production of chemical or acoustic emissions[10]
  • No air pollution
  • No risk of fire
  • Rainwater harvesting[11]

All the concrete and metal parts from the old demolished BJK Inonu Stadium have been separated and reused; other materials left have been divided into types, in order to be recycled, resold or reused.

Historical monument[edit]

The stands behind the goal areas were called Eski Açık (Old Tribune) with a seating capacity of 7,962. There are two towers on the left and right side of the Eski Açık stands and an iron gate in the middle of 2 towers. The towers and the gate are preserved as a hictorical monument during the construction of the new site.

Naming Rights[edit]

Beşiktaş signed a $145 million deal with Vodafone on 21 August 2013. The deal includes shirt sponsorship for 3+2 years, stadium naming rights of the new Beşiktaş stadium which will be named the 'Vodafone Arena', advertising, and stadium technology infrastructure investment rights for 10+5 years.



  • The Vodafone Arena received the Environment Friendly Award[12] on 30.04.2015 during the 4th Green Economy Awards Ceremony.

Basement Construction[edit]

  • Bore pile used: 10,8 km[13]
  • Anchorage: 28,5 km
  • Nails used at the base: 2,2 km
  • Basement Depth: 30 meters
  • Excavated Soil from the basement: 760.000 m3 [14]


  • Total: 41,903[15]
  • Number of Suites:147
  • VIP Parking: 350
  • VIP Seats: 2100
  • Lodge Seats: 1847
  • Handicap Seats: 81 + 81 (for Companions)
  • Press Tribune Seats: 186

Pitch Dimensions[edit]

  • Distance between goal line and tribunes: 7,95m
  • Distance between touch line and tribunes: 6,15m


The lightweight cable roof is designed as classical looped cable roof and containing one compression and one tension ring. While the majority of the roof is covered with a membrane, the inner edge has a glass roof. The roof of Vodafone Arena is composed of 260 tons of 246 rope assemblies. The inner tension ring which is 8 times Ø110 mm full locked coil ropes with a single length of nearly 200 meters, is connected to the outer compression ring by radial cables that consist of full locked coil ropes with Ø110, Ø85, Ø65 and Ø45 mm.[16]


BJK İnönü Stadium Era[edit]

Previously while Vodafone Arena was BJK İnönü Stadium, it had been used for many major music concerts including:


Woody Road[edit]

Woody Road

From the Beşiktaş district, supporters and visitors approach the Vodafone Arena through historical Dolmabahçe street also called "Ağaçlı Yol" in Turkish which becomes a ritual during match days and is a source of inspiration for several songs and cheers written at the time.

Dolmabahçe Palace[edit]

Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace was built by Sultan Abdulmecid (1839–1861) who was the thirty first Ottoman Sultan. The palace, whose construction commenced on June 13, 1843, was brought into use on June 7, 1856, upon completion of surrounding walls. The palace mainly consists of three parts, named as the Imperial Mabeyn (State Apartments), Muayede Salon (Ceremonial Hall) and the Imperial Harem. The Imperial Mabeyn was allocated for administrative affairs of the state, Imperial Harem was allocated for private lives of the sultan and his family and the Muayede Salon, placed between these two sections, was allocated for exchanging of bayram greetings of sultan with dignitary statesmen and for some important state ceremonies. The main building is three storey including the basement on the side which is parallel to sea and it is four storey at the land side involving the Harem quarters with the musandıra (garret) storeys.

Clock Tower[edit]

Dolmabahçe Mosque

Clock Tower of Dolmabahçe is a clock tower situated outside Dolmabahce Palace. The tower was constructed by the famous Armenian architect Sarkis Balyan between 1890 and 1895 with the order of Ottoman sultan Abdul Hamid II (1842–1918). Designed in Ottoman neo-baroque style, the four-sided, four-storey tower stands at a height of 27 m. Its clock was manufactured by the renowned French clockmaker house of Jean-Paul Garnier, and installed by the court clock master Johann Mayer. In 1979, the original mechanical clock was converted partly to an electrical one. On two opposite sides of the tower, the tughra of Sultan Abdul Hamid II is put on.

Dolmabahçe Mosque[edit]

Dolmabahce Mosque is located in the south of Dolmabahce Palace, on the coast. It was originally commissioned by the mother of Sultan Abdülmecid, Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan, but on her death it was continued by Sultan Abdülmecid. The mosque was completed in 1855; its architect is Garabet Balyan. Dolmabahce Mosque is one of the ornamented mosques constructed in Baroque style. Since the mosque is adjacent to the palace, a two storey Sultan maksoorah was constructed on the front part where the Sultan and statesmen can perform their prayers and where public processions and meetings could be accommodated. Circular window design which is rarely seen in our mosque architecture gives the building a different look with its peacock-tail design. Dolmabahce Mosque has two minarets with a single balcony. The interior has a decoration having a mixture of baroque and ampere styles. From the dome hangs a precious chandelier. Mihrab and mimbar is made of red porphyry.

Transport Connections[edit]

Vodafone Arena is situated in the heart of the city centre surrounded by many transport facilities. A 5 minutes of short walk is enough to reach to the stadium from Taksim square which is the most important transportation hub of Istanbul served by many bus lines, metro(M2) and Funicular of Kabataş-Taksim (F1). Kabataş tram (T1) can be used to plan your journey to Vodafone Arena. Sea transport is also available for visitors who want to reach from Anatolian Side of Istanbul by using Beşiktaş-Kadıköy, Beşiktaş-Üsküdar ferries or Bostanci-Kabataş Fast Ferry.[17][18]

A map of Vodafone Arena in relation to Taksim Station, Kabataş Station, Beşiktaş and Kabataş Docks

Stations nearby are:

Service Station Line
Istanbul Metro Istanbul Metro Taksim StationIstanbul Metro Handicapped/disabled access Istanbul public transport - M2 line symbol.png Yenikapı ↔ Hacıosman
Kabataş Station Istanbul Metro Istanbul public transport - F1 line symbol.png Taksim ↔ Kabataş
Istanbul Tramway Kabataş Station Istanbul Line Symbol T1.png Bağcılar ↔ Kabataş
Istanbul Ferries Şehir Hatları logosu.jpg Beşiktaş Dock Kadıköy ↔ Beşiktaş
Kabataş Dock Kadıköy ↔ Kabataş
Istanbul Fast Ferries Istanbul Sea Buses Logo.JPG Kabataş Dock Bostancı ↔ Kabataş
Kabataş Dock Bursa ↔ Kadıköy ↔ Kabataş

See also[edit]