A Closer Look at Bursaspor’s New “Crocodile Stadium”

Posted on September 2, 2011 by

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The plans for Bursaspor’s new stadium are, as you will have most likely seen by now, quite extraordinary. A giant green crocodile is certainly not something you expect to see in these days of generic looking Emirates Stadium-style oval designs.

It helps that crocodiles are quite fearsome creatures. Fulham, for example, could not replace Craven Cottage with a brand new stadium that has the giant head of its mascot, the badger. A giant badger is not going to be striking fear into any away fans and Hartlepool’s H’Angus the monkey would certainly be out of the question.

The design for the new Bursaspor stadium, which will be called the “Timsah Arena”, tightropes a fine line of being the crazy design from the brain child of an imaginative school student to being the most bad ass stadium ever built. There could be an argument that perhaps the spotlights shooting out of the crocodile’s eyes are a tad too far.

If you ever wanted to build a massive bright green stadium then the city you would want to choose would have to be Bursa, fortunately enough for all involved. Plonk the soon-to-be Timsah Arena in the centre of Rome or Paris and it will stand out like some sort of great giant crocodile. Where as if you were to drop the Timsah Arena in Bursa, it would nestle in quite nicely.

Bursa is a city of green; indeed, the city is sometimes referred to as “Yeşil Bursa”, or “Green Bursa” due to the large amount of green seen around the city. From the large amount of parks through the city to the Yeşil Mosque and of course, to the incredibly impressive forest-covered Mt. Uludağ just south of the city, it ensures that giant crocodile or no giant crocodile, Bursa is a city shadowed by green.

The original designs for the new Timsah Arena (Timsah meaning “crocodile” in Turkish) were to be without the crocodile’s head and instead focused on making the surrounding sides of the stadium look like a crocodiles scales. Bursaspor changed their mind though, perhaps in fear of constantly having confused PETA members throwing blood on the outside of the stadium, although probably not.

The designers and architects have tried to find that “football feel” of a stadium too with one of the stands being three tired looks so steep you may want to tie yourself to your seat.

The cost of the stadium is being shared with the City, Bursa are going to pay only at the moment around £42,000,000. Although as England fans will have noted with the new Wembley Stadium, these prices can soon increase. If the stadium’s valuation stays around about that same value it would cost around about half of what it would cost to buy Cristiano Ronaldo.

Construction for the new stadium has already began and should all thinks go to plan then the stadium could well be around sometime in the middle of 2013. The stadium will also become part of the Turkish Football Federation’s bid to host the 2020 UEFA European Championships after having failed to host the competition in 2008, 2012, and 2016. The fight for the 2016 Championships was the closest Turkey has come, losing out narrowly to eventual winners, France.

It would not be a surprise should they get it too, Turkey has invested heavily in football and their teams too are slowly improving. The array of stadia the country has on it hands is spectacular even more so considering most of the stadiums are brand new or at the very least recently renovated with many more soon to be built.

The likes of the massively impressive Kadir Has Stadium, home to Kayserispor, is a “proper” footballing stadium – will help immensely in the country’s bid. The stands are close to the pitch to add an incredibly intimidating atmosphere to the game. It’s tight and compact and spectacular to look at from the outside. It’s like a steam punk roller-coaster mixed with a football stadium.

It’s things like this that could separate Turkey and Turkish football out in UEFA and perhaps FIFA consideration in the future.

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Posted in: Europe