Fikret Orman intends to open Vodafone Arena against Barcelona

Updated: November 1, 2015

Beşiktaş president Fikret Orman walked around the construction site of the Vodafone Arena. He was accompanied by Serdar Sümer, Chief Executive Officer of Aktifbank, with whom Beşiktaş reached a sponsorship agreement last week for the naming rights of the Vodafone Arena. They talked to the press after their tour and this is what they had to say:

“I want to thank the Aktifbank family”

Orman firstly thanked Aktifbank: “We have made an agreement with Aktifbank a long time ago. This is just the announcement of this agreement. Aktifbank have helped us finance the Vodafone Arena. They said ‘we want to be of help to Beşiktaş. This stadium is going to be constructed, so we want to contribute as well’. They have been at our side in hard times. I want to thank the Aktifbank family on behalf of my club.”

“This will be the most beautiful stadium in Turkey”

The president then talked about the stage the construction is in: “We have arrived in the final stages. We will see the skeleton at the ceiling this week and we will return to placing the seats and the other things that need to be done. This stadium is different from other ones. We are spending 50 million TL on the technology alone, because we want to make this a technological stadium. This will be a stadium where people can relax. We have thought of and planned everything till the final details, everyone will see the differences when we’re done. Beşiktaş means difference if you ask us. I believe this will be the most beautiful stadium in Turkey.”

“We want to play our opening game against Barcelona”

Orman continues: “It looks like the opening of our stadium will be in a tough period, because the European leagues will still be ongoing. You know that Beko is one of our main sponsors, just like it is one of Barcelona’s main sponsors. If the calendar is suitable, we want to play our stadium’s opening match against Barcelona, but of course we have to keep both teams’ schedules in mind. Let’s just say we don’t have that commitment right now, but we have that intention. We just have to wait for the final opening date and both teams’ match schedules. We also hope we can play the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League in the Vodafone Arena.”

“It’s a shame we play our games in Istanbul in front of 5.000 people”

The Beşiktaş president criticized the fans who are living in Istanbul, saying: “I’m not happy with the attention our fans give to the games we play in Istanbul. They say we play far away. The places we play are known, the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium or the Başakşehir Stadium. A lot more people are living there then in other places, around 3 or 4 million people. If that’s the case, around 1 million people are a Beşiktaş fan. If you ask me it’s a shame that we play our games as leaders with 5.000 to 6.000 people in the stadium then. I believe that, especially this season, a Beşiktaş that is running towards a long awaited championship needs a lot more support from the fans. This is a long marathon. The results we get now or the place we are at the moment aren’t that important. The important thing is to be on top at the end of the season. For that to happen we really need the support of our fans.”

“We are proud that we are building this stadium with our own money”

Orman finally had this to say: “We are trying to play nice football to look at, without regard to the team people support. We played a really nice match against Antalyaspor in a beautiful stadium. Antalya is a place everyone goes for a training camp in the winter, so this was really necessary. It can have its flaws, it was just the first game. We shouldn’t look at it in a negative way. They have built a great complex and it looks like Turkey will have another pretty stadium when we’re done. We are really proud that we are building this stadium with our own money and our own possibilities.”

“We are proud to contribute to the construction of the Vodafone Arena”

Aktifbank Chief Executive Officer Serdar Sümer: “I want to thank president Fikret Orman for welcoming us. We are really proud that we are contributing to the construction of the Vodafone Arena. It is going to be the best stadium of Turkey in terms of technology, ambiance and location. We believe in Beşiktaş, we have a lot of long-term projects with them.”


Yusuf Paklaci

Editor at Beşiktaş International
Living in the province of Utrecht, The Netherlands, where I was born and raised. Student Fiscal Economics at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Have been a Beşiktaş fan for many years. Editor at Beşiktaş International since 2015.
Yusuf Paklaci