Istanbul - Sports

Sports

See also: List of sport facilities in Istanbul

Istanbul has some of Turkey's oldest sports clubs. Beşiktaş J.K., established in 1903, is considered the oldest of these sports clubs; because of its initial status as Turkey's only club, it occasionally played as the national team. While its football team has seen several periods of dominance in national competition, Istanbul's Galatasaray S.K. and Fenerbahçe S.K. have fared better in international competition and tie for the honor of winning the most Süper Lig championships. Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe have a long-standing rivalry across the Bosphorus, with Galatasaray based in European Istanbul and Fenerbahçe based in the Anatolian part of the city. Istanbul has four basketball teams—Anadolu Efes S.K., Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe Ülker, and Galatasaray Medical Park—that play in the premier-level Turkish Basketball League.

Many of Istanbul's sports facilities have been built or upgraded since 2000 to bolster the city's bids for the Summer Olympic Games. Atatürk Olympic Stadium, the largest multi-purpose stadium in Turkey, was completed in 2002 as an IAAF first-class venue for track and field. The stadium hosted the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final and remains the home field of İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor. Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Fenerbahçe's home field, hosted the 2009 UEFA Cup Final three years after its completion, and Türk Telekom Arena opened in 2011 to replace Ali Sami Yen Stadium as Galatasaray's home turf. All three stadiums are elite Category 4 (formerly five-star) UEFA stadiums.

The Sinan Erdem Dome, among the largest indoor arenas in Europe, hosted the final of the 2010 FIBA World Championship, the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships, and the 2011–12 Euroleague Final Four. Prior to the completion of the Sinan Erdem Dome in 2010, Abdi İpekçi Arena was Istanbul's primary indoor arena, having hosted the finals of EuroBasket 2001. Several other indoor arenas, including the Beşiktaş Akatlar Arena, have also been inaugurated since 2000, serving as the home courts of Istanbul's sports clubs. The most recent of these is the 13,800-seat Ülker Sports Arena, which opened in 2012 as the home court of Fenerbahçe's basketball teams. Despite the construction boom, four consecutive bids for the Summer Olympics—in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012—and national bids for UEFA Euro 2012 and UEFA Euro 2016 have ended unsuccessfully. Istanbul is currently bidding for the 2020 Summer Olympics, with the host city expected to be announced in September 2013, and is at the center of Turkey's UEFA Euro 2020 bid, on which a decision is expected in early 2014.

Istanbul Park was a stop on the World Touring Car Championship circuit and the European Le Mans Series in 2005 and 2006, but the track has not seen either of these competitions since then. Between its opening in 2005 and 2011, Istanbul Park also hosted the annual Turkish Grand Prix; its future remains uncertain due to financial troubles. The Istanbul Sailing Club, established in 1952, hosts a number of races, showcases, and events on the waterways in and around Istanbul each year. The Turkish Offshore Racing Club also hosts major races, with its most prestigious being its race for the Marine Forces Trophy. Istanbul was also an occasional stop on the F1 Powerboat World Championship circuit, although its last appearance on the Bosphorus was in 2000.

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Famous quotes containing the word sports:

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    Gayle Gardner, U.S. sports reporter. As quoted in Sports Illustrated, p. 87 (June 17, 1991)

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