Vodafone Arena: Beşiktaş J.K.

Beşiktaş J.K., Besiktas Inönü Stadi, Istanbul, Turkey
By Aykerim27 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Vodafone Arena was built on the same site as Beşiktaş’ former ground, BJK İnönü Stadium. It opened in 2016 and has a capacity of about 43,500. That capacity includes 144 executive suites and an executive lounge named in honour of when the club was formed in 1903, the 1903 Lounge. The stadium cost in the region of $80 million dollars to build and was designed by the architects DB.

Built right next to the Bosphorus, the stadium is one of the most modern in the entire world. It is what is called a ‘smart stadium’ as it is fitted with high-speed Wi-Fi courtesy of Cisco Systems. There is also something called StadiumVision in place within the ground, that allows supporters to watch HD video throughout the ground.

Stats

Vodafone Arena Stats
Year Opened2016
Capacity41,903
Average Attendance23,312
Record Attendance38,421 (Beşiktaş-Osmanlıspor (2016))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
OwnerBeşiktaş J.K.
SponsorVodfone
Clubs HostedBesiktas
First FixtureBeşiktaş v Bursaspor (11/04/2016)
Beşiktaş Stats
Year Founded1903
NicknameBlack Eagles, Black and whites
Club MascotBlack eagle
RivalsGalatasaray, Fenerbahçe
Previous StadiumsBJK İnönü Stadium
KitWhite with Black Trim (Home) / Black & White Stripes (Away) / Black with White Trim (Third)
Training GroundNevzat Demir Tesisleri
Shirt SponsorVodafone

Vodafone Arena Photos

Vodafone Arena Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By Ceyhun SERAN (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Vodafone Arena is, like most new stadiums, built in a ‘bowl’ style, with continuous seating all the way around the ground. There are four sections with two-tiers in each section. The stands are best described by their geographical location, with The East Stand and The West Stand running alongside the pitch. The North and South Stands are behind the two goals, with The South Stand being the closest to the Bosphorus.

Beşiktaş Ticket Prices

Beşiktaş tend to release their ticket prices a few weeks before the games, so it’s tricky to know exactly how much tickets are likely to cost from one minute to the next. The main thing worth noting is that matches rarely sell-out, so you’ll be able to get a ticket on the day of the game unless it’s against one of the club’s biggest rivals.

How To Get Beşiktaş Tickets

The best place to go for tickets is the Beşiktaş club website.

Getting To Vodafone Arena

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Though not the capital of Turkey, Istanbul is arguably the most famous and popular part of the country. For that reason it’s easy enough to get there, depending on where you’re travelling from:

Train - It would take you two days to get from London to Istanbul on the train, so maybe swerve that particular option. The stadium is a five minute walk from Taksim Square, though, so Taksim Metro Station will be your best bet.

Bus - In the heart of the city centre, the ground is served by a host of buses that take you anywhere near the middle of Istanbul.

Car - Your best bet if you’re hoping to drive to the ground is to get a satellite navigation system and put the address of Vodafone Arena into it.

By Air - The Ataturk Airport is just over ten miles from the centre of Istanbul.

Taxi - A taxi from the airport straight to the ground will take about three quarters of an hour and will cost just over 61 Turkish Lira.

Parking Near Vodafone Arena

The stadium is surrounded by main roads, so parking spaces are few and far between. There are 600 spaces within the stadium that are reserved for VIP supporters.

Useful Resources

Vodafone Arena Hotels

As one of Turkey’s most popular destinations it’s fair to say that Istanbul has got more than a couple of hotel options. Here are some you might want to consider:

Sed Hotel Istanbul - $40+

Ömer Avni Mah. Besaret Sk. No:14, Ayaspasa, Istanbul, 80040
The Sed Hotel is less than half a mile from the Vodafone Arena and has got two restaurants, a garden, a meeting room and a rooftop terrace with amazing views of the city. There’s also free parking, free Wi-Fi and a free buffet breakfast available. More details.

Mercure Istanbul Taksim - £50+

Omer Avni Mah Inonu Caddesi, No 42 Gumussuyu Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34437
This member of the Mercure chain of hotels has got a restaurant and a bar, a fitness centre and a terrace. There are also meeting rooms available and free Wi-Fi. It’s essentially located in Taksim Square, so it’s just a short walk from here to the stadium. More details.

Avantgarde Hotel Taksim Square - £85+

Mete Cd. No 28, Istanbul, 34437
This four-star hotel is about five minutes from the ground and offers incredible views of the city. There’s a restaurant, a bar, a fitness centre, two meeting rooms and free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Vodafone Arena

Istanbul is a city with a great atmosphere and some fabulous places to get a drink or two. Here are some of our favourites:

Sah Bar

Alemdar Mahallesi Divanyolu Caddesi, İnciliçavuş Çıkmazı Sok. No:9 Sultanahmet, 34112 (+90 212 519 5807)
This terrace bar offers a unique mix of old style Turkish dining and a modern setting. It has got a brilliant view of the Blue Mosque and you’ll often be able to enjoy live music and good DJ sets.

Sultan Pub & Cafe

Alemdar Mh., Divan Yolu Cd. No:2 (+90 212 511 5638)
The Sultan Bar is an American style eatery with a large garden and a rooftop terrace. There’s delicious food on offer and a good mix of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

The Junction Bar

Asmalı Mescit, Oteller Sk. No:3, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul (+90 212 252 7160)
With its great wine selection and terrific menu, The Junction Bar, which is part of The Peak Hotel, is a great place to get a drink or two before you head off to watch any football.

Facilities

The Vodafone Arena is one of the most modern in the world, so the facilities are excellent. The views are great from all around and there are numerous places to get food and drink, too.

Hospitality

Beşiktaş J.K. vs Bursaspor 11 April 2016 - By Sakhalinio (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are a host of executive boxes and VIP seating areas in the Vodafone Arena, but the main one is the 1903 Lounge. There’s a panoramic view from the room and your get food as part of your package.

Private Hire

At the moment the club hasn’t released any information about private hire of its facilities, but that is likely to change when Beşiktaş are settled into the stadium and realise they can make more money by hiring out their various executive boxes and lounges.

Stadium Tours & Museum

At the time of writing there are no tours available of the ground, but we expect that to change once Beşiktaş have got themselves settled. There’s also no museum at the moment.

About Beşiktaş

1923/24 Besiktas team - By Tuğrul Yenidoğan' s archive [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Known in the UK simply as Beşiktaş, the full title of the club is actually Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü and that, you might be able to work out, translates as Beşiktaş Gymnastics Club. That’s because it is the footballing arm of a sports club that was established in 1903. The footballing side has essentially taken over nowadays, with the gymnastics part of the club acknowledged in the letters JK normally following the Beşiktaş part of the title. There are basketball, volleyball and boxing departments still in existence, however.

The club is one of the ‘big three’ clubs in Turkish football alongside Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray. Beşiktaş have never been relegated from the top-flight, known as the Super Lig, and have won it fourteen times. They’ve won the Turkish Cup nine times and the Turkish Super Cup eight times. In Europe they’ve reached the quarter-finals of both the UEFA Cup and the European Cup in the past, though they’ve never won either.

Vodafone Arena History

Besiktas previous ground, Inonu stadium - By Aynali at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The history of the Vodafone Arena is yet to be written, with the ground only opening its doors for the first time in April 2016. It was built in the same location as the BJK İnönü Stadium where the club had played their games since their inception. It was originally planned to have just over 41,000 seats but the capacity ended up being 43,500.

The only part of the old ground that wasn’t demolished was The Eski Açık Stand, which couldn’t be knocked down as it is considered to be an historical monument. It is arranged to look like an old-fashioned amphitheatre and the rest of the stadium has been designed to fit alongside it. According to the club the new stadium has been designed to be ‘in harmony with the natural and historic landscape of the Bosphorus’.

Future Developments

Vodafone Arena under construction in 2014 - By Derzsi Elekes Andor (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

As one of the newest and most state-of-the-art stadiums in the world it is unlikely that major renovations will be carried out to the Vodafone Arena any time soon.

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