Some Pictures from a preseason tournament in 2008 between Izmir rivals Karsiyaka SK and Altay Izmir SK at the Izmir Alsancak stadium. Karsiyaka came out the victors 2-1, and shared their celebrations with the crowd. An added impetus for me in sharing the photos from this nostalgic match is that it was at the Alsancak Stadium. Anyone who has lived in Izmir knows this iconic stadium. While not the main stadium of the city (that distinction belongs to the 80,000 capacity Ataturk Stadium), the cozy Alsancak stadium, that seats around 18,000, is central to the city’s sporting history. In the years that Altay Izmir were a fixture of the Turkish Super League they played their matches in this quirky centrally located stadium. The quirkiness for many stems from its set up. There are two stands, one with a balcony, while behind one goal sits an office building-like structure home to the Altay Izmir club, while behind the other goal are cypress trees. The presence of nature within the stadium has taken on added meaning in the wake of the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul. ¬†There have been rumors that the stadium is slated for demolition in the midst of an urban renewal project, here is to hoping that this theater of dreams stays around.

 

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