Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium is a renowned football stadium located in Kadıköy, Istanbul, Turkey. The stadium is the home ground of Fenerbahçe S.K and has a capacity of just over 50,000 spectators.
Usually, the stands in a football stadium are separated from the pitch by a running track, but in this stadium, they have been built quite close to the pitch. There is no running track between the stands and the pitch here, making the stadium a really unique as this style of a stadium has never existed in Turkey. The stadium is widely recognized as one of the loudest stadiums in the world.
The stadium was inaugurated in 1908 and the first few matches that were played at this stadium were the first league games of the Istanbul Football League.
The stadium has had many different names over the years. It was called Silahtar Ağa Sahası, which was then changed to Papazın Çayırı. It was changed to Union Club Field after the club that made the biggest donation for the construction of the ground.
After World War I, it changed to İttihat Spor Field and finally, it became Fenerbahçe Stadyumu. The stadium has also undergone changes quite a few times. It was renovated between 1929-1932, 1965-1982 and also between 1999-2006.
The stadium has seen a huge number of great matches over the years as most of the matches between Fenerbahce and Galatasaray are played here. The rivalry is so strong that any match between these two teams is called The Intercontinental Derby and also ‘The Eternal Rivalry’.
The Intercontinental Derby on 12 February 1911 is one of the major matches played at this venue. The match took place when the stadium was called Union Club Field. The match was biggest win scored by Galatasaray over Fenerbahce as they won the game by 7-0. They scored all this with just 7 players on the field.
Another such match was the Intercontinental Derby, 4 January 1914. This was another major match played on this ground as it marked the first victory scored by Fenerbahce over Galatasaray, winning by a score of 4-2.
There have been a lot of controversies that took place in this stadium. But the biggest and a really horrible incident that took place here was on 12 May 2013. The match resulted in Fenerbahce defeating Galatasaray by 2-1. After the match, 19-year-old Fenerbahce fan Burak Yıldırım was stabbed to death by a hooligan supporter of Galatasaray.