Astana’s new stadium ready to host games

ASTANA - A Turkish company has completed construction on a stadium in the Kazakh capital of Astana that has a 30,000-spectator capacity and a retractable roof.

Construction of the Astana Arena Stadium began in 2006 and has cost Sembol İnşaat, a Turkish construction company, a total of $185 million. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev inaugurated the stadium on Saturday.

The facility is equipped for television networks with satellite antennas, broadcasting and sound reinforcement with simultaneous translation in meeting halls and areas for press conferences; it also has a scoreboard and a helicopter landing pad. The stands are located on two levels: 16,000 seats on the lower level and 14,000 on the upper deck. A VIP zone is located in between on the western end of the stadium. Other participants included Fettah Tamince, the chairman of the Rixos Hotels Executive Board and founder of Sembol İnşaat's; various Kazakh ministers and lawmakers; Levent Kızıl, a member of the Turkish Football Federation’s executive board; Turkish national team coach Fatih Terim; and Turkish footballers Hakan Şükür and Hasan Şaş.

After the ceremony, Kazakhstan’s Locomotive Astana and the Kazakh junior national team played a friendly match, which was officiated by Italian referee Pierluigi Collina.
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