Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium: Fenerbahçe

Zühtüpaşa, Bağdat Cad., Kızıl Toprak, 34724 Kadıköy
By Валерий Дед (STADIUM 2009) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The site where the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium now stands is actually a very important one in the history of Turkish football. Before the ground was built it was merely a field known as the Papazın Çayırı, or field of the priest. It became the country’s first ever football pitch and the location for numerous Istanbul Football League matches when the division was in its infancy. The land was leased from Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II to clubs wanting to play on it.

It was initially named the Union Club Field because Union Club had donated the most money towards its upkeep. However it was used by many of the city’s most famous teams, including, Galatasaray, Beşiktaş and of course Fenerbahçe. In 1922 the Taksim Stadium was built and the ground lost its importance. It was leased to Fenerbahçe initially before they purchased it outright in 1933 when Şükrü Saracoğlu was the President of the club and also a member of the Republican People's Party.

Stats

Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium Stats
Year Opened1908
Capacity50,509
Average Attendance28,589
Record Attendance45,070 (Fenerbahçe v Galatasaray (2015))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
NicknameÜlker Stadium
Former NameFenerbahçe, Fenerbahçe Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium
OwnerFenerbahçe S.K.
SponsorÜlker
Clubs HostedFenerbahçe S.K., Union Club, Galatasaray, Beşiktaş
Fenerbahçe Stats
Year Founded1907
NicknameSarı Kanaryalar (The Yellow Canaries), Sarı Lacivertliler (The Navy Blue-Yellows), Efsane (The Legend), Fener, Kadıköy Boğası (Kadıköy's Bull)
Club MascotCanary
RivalsBeşiktaş, Galatasaray
KitYellow & Black (Home) / White & Black (Away) / Black & Orange (Third)
Training GroundCan Bartu Training Facilities
Shirt SponsorNesine.com, Coca-Cola, Halley, Integral Forex, Astra Group, Borajet Airlines
Team OwnerAziz Yildirim
Record GoalscorerZeki Rıza Sporel (470)
Record AppearancesMüjdat Yetkiner (763)

Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium Photos

Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

The Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium is an interesting design, partly a bowl of continuous seating but also broken up into different sections. It is a two-tiered affair with executive seating breaking up the East and West Stands. The North Stand houses the away supporters and The South Stand is where the home fans tend to locate themselves. The West Stand is the main one, housing the dugouts and changing rooms and so on.

Fenerbahçe Ticket Prices

The cost of tickets for Fenerbahçe matches change depending on who they’re playing against and where in the ground you’d like to sit. It’s also different depending on the competition you’re going to see, with the club often involved in both the Turkish Super Lig and European competition. In general for a run-of-the-mill league match you can pay as little as 17 Turkish Lira for a ticket and as much as 425 TL.

How To Get Fenerbahçe Tickets

Buying tickets for Fenerbahçe matches is a complicated process. Aside from third-party websites you can also pick them up from the ticket office at the stadium. You can also get tickets online.

Where to Buy

Getting To Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium

Swap Start/End

Train - You can probably get a train to Istanbul if you want but it’s likely to take several days. Better to get there by other means and then head to the stadium itself. Both Söğütlüçeşme and TCDD Kızıltoprak İstasyon Stations are within walking distance of the ground, if you’re hoping to get the train.

Bus - Bus numbers 4, ER1, 16, 16D, 222, FB1, FB2 and GZ1 all stop near enough to the stadium.

Car - If you’ve decided to drive in Turkey then all power to you. The ground is on Bagdat Cd, which is itself reachable from the Istanbul çevre Yolu. If that doesn’t make much sense then just use a sat-nav like sensible people.

By Air - Ataturk Airport is on the European side of the city of Istanbul and is just over fifteen miles or so from the centre. Sabiha Gökçen is newer and is on the city’s Asian side, about 25 miles from the docks.

Taxi - It will take about half an hour to get from the centre of Istanbul to the stadium, costing you in the region of 45 Turkish Lira.

Parking Near Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium

There are a couple of car parks at there ground but they aren’t that big and they tend to fill up quickly.

Useful Resources

Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium Hotels

Timya Hotel - 30+

Rihtim Cad Kirmizi Kusak Sok, Istanbul, 34714
Just over half a mile from the stadium is this pleasant hotel that offers Wi-Fi in the reception areas. There’s a buffet breakfast included in the price of your stay, which is nice, as well as a business centre and laundry services should that be something you require. More details.

Pasha Moda Hotel - 45+

Caferaga Mahallesi, Bahariye Caddesi, Istanbul, Kadikoy
Less than half a mile from the ground is this hotel in the Kadikoy district of the city. There’s a restaurant and bar in the hotel but if you really fancy a drink then you’ll also want to know about the nightclub. There’s a terrace area you can use and a garden, should the weather lend itself to being outside. More details.

Kuzen Otel - 85+

Caferaga Mah. Dumlupinar Sk. No 13, Kadikoy, Istanbul
This adults only hotel is less than a mile from the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium and has not one but two restaurants for you to choose from. It’s only got twelve bedrooms, so you’ll have to book it fast if you’re interested. There’s a meeting room for those of you there on business and a roof terrace for anyone who’s more about chilling out.
More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium

Mackolik Complex

Zühtüpaşa, 34724 Kadıköy, İstanbul (+90 216 338 65 55)
The Mackolik Complex is one of the best places in Istanbul to head to if you fancy having a quiet drink, a bite to eat and watching some live sport. There’s a cracking food menu with plenty of different choices for even the fussiest of eaters. Yet it’s the live sport section that really captures the attention, with three HD projectors and twelve plasma screens dotted about the place.

Olimpiyat 2 Minas Restaurant

Samsa Sokak No:5 Kumkapı-Eminönü (+90 212 517 22 40)
If you’re more interested in getting a bite to eat than watching live sport then you’re not going to go too far wrong with the Olimpyat 2. Specialising in fish dishes and having room to serve 300 people at once, this will give you a true sense of what Turkish hospitality can offer. You’ll enjoy a brilliant atmosphere, probably with some live music thrown in to boot!

Benzin Cafe

Caferağa, Colonel Faik Sözden Cad. Pier Business Center No: 7 D: 3, 34710, Kadikoy (+90 216 450 52 52)
Back to somewhere you can enjoy watching the football, then, and Benzin Cafe has it all. As well as a couple of screens that tend to perpetually show live sport, there’s also plenty of drinking options and the sort of food choices you’d expect from an American diner type place. Funny, as that’s the way it’s decorated too.

Hospitality

By Kızıl Şaman [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are two main levels of hospitality at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium. The East Stand contains a row of executive boxes from where you can watch Fenerbahçe matches in style. The West Stand, meanwhile, has a row of executive seating that sits between the two main tiers. That is less luxurious than a private box but also considerably less expensive.

Private Hire

As with most football grounds around the world, you’ll be able to hire certain parts of the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium if you’re hoping to host an event there. The club can give you more details about what you’ll need to do.

About Fenerbahçe

Kaan Sensoy / Flickr.com

Fenerbahçe Spor Kulübü, or Fenerbahçe SK for short, has been in existence since 1907 and is more than just a football club. As is commonly the place with ‘sports clubs’, there are numerous different arms to Fenerbahçe including male and female basketball and volleyball teams, a table tennis club and a swimming team. It’s obviously the football club that we’re interested in above all else, however, and on that front the Yellow Canaries do not disappoint.

To date Fenerbahçe have won thirty-four domestic trophies, with nineteen of those being made up of Süper Lig titles. Add in nine Turkish Super Cups and six Turkish Cups and you’ve got one of the country’s most successful sides on your hands. They won the Balkans Cup in 1967, which isn’t all that noteworthy in itself. However this is widely considered to be the first non-domestic trophy won by a Turkish team. Something that neither of their city rivals, Beşiktaş and Galatasaray, can boast to have done.

Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium History

By Cumhuriyet newspaper (Cumhuriyet newspaper) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

When Fenerbahçe purchased the stadium that is now known as Şükrü Saracoğlu on the 27th of May 1933 they became the first football club in Turkey to own their own stadium. It had a capacity of 25,000, which was 3,000 bigger than the newer and more modern Taksim Stadium that opened elsewhere in the city. It was re-named as Fenerbahçe Stadium and the club were aided in their ability to purchase it thanks to Şükrü Saracoğlu himself, who was the club President and was reasonably high up in the CHP government at the time.

Saracoğlu later became the Turkish Prime Minister and in 1998 the ground was renamed in his honour. At the same time the club confirmed that they were going to renovate the stadium in its entirety, doing so section by section so as to minimise disruption as much as possible. This took place over seven years from 1999 until 2006 at a cost of about $85 million. The capacity at the end of the work was raised to just over 50,000. As a bit of trivia for you, the ground hosted the last ever final of the UEFA Cup on the 20th of May in 2009 - the competition was re-branded into the Europa League the following season.

Future Developments

By Kızıl Şaman [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Given the fact that the entire stadium was re-developed reasonably recently, it’s unlikely to see any major upgrades in the foreseeable future.

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