Iran national football team
Capacity: 78,116 (all seated)
Address: Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran
Pitch Size: 110m x 75m
Pitch Type: Desso GrassMaster
Club Nickname: Persian Stars
Year Ground Opened: 1971
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: White
Away Kit: Red
The Azadi Stadium is a part of the Azadi sports complex. Constructed in 1970s, this is one of the oldest grounds in this part of the world. At the same time, the ground manages to hold close to 100,000 in its current capacity to make it one of the largest of its kind in the Middle East. Originally built in 1970s to host the Asian Games and Asian Cup, the stadium has been able to feature the Iranian national team regularly since 1975. One of the iconic features of this ground would be the sound of vuvuzels. The major renovation works in 2003 brought many features to the ground.
What is it like for visiting supporters?
The Azadi stadium is one of the brilliant sporting destinations in the Middle East. After starting out with a capacity of more than 100,000 fans, this ground has led to focused on amenities and convenience for visiting supporters rather than pure numbers. As a result, a renovation in 2003 brought down the overall capacity while still managing to provide a lot of appeal. The renovation work also resulted in the addition of many new features like a replay screen and high-definition scoreboard. These are able to substantially enhance the appeal and experience of watching a match on this ground.
All visiting supporters should be prepared for an excellent ambience when high-profile opponents are visiting the ground. Azadi stadium has a reputation for being one of the intimidating grounds when it is full to capacity.
How to get there by car & Where to park?
Since the Azadi stadium is located only 13 km away from the centre of the Tehran, it is easily accessible by car. The ground is in a favourable spot even for those who are coming from the Mehrabad Airport. Those who are driving from the centre of the city will have to spend around 30 minutes to get to stadium with light traffic. However, it is fair to expect a time of one hour on match days. From the airport, it would take only around 15 minutes under light traffic conditions to reach the stadium. The airport is slightly closer to the ground rather than the city centre. If one has any difficulties in getting to the ground, it is advisable to use the following address in the satnav:
Azadi Sports Complex, Tehran
The stadium comes with a capacity of almost 100,000 spectators and this calls for an impressive number of parking spots even if a decent chunk of visitors decide to utilise the public transport. The stadium comes with spots for 400 cars, which may not sound much. But there is space for about 10,000 cars just outside the ground. Even if a significant portion of fans decide to travel to the games through a car, they are unlikely to be spoilt for parking choices.
By train or metro
The best way to reach the Azadi stadium would be to use the metro. The ground is located on the Green line 5. There is a metro station, Station Azadi Stadium, located just outside the ground. It can be reached using the stop Sadeghieh, which is located in the western part of the city. Meanwhile, those who are heading from central Tehran will be able to make use of the blue line 2. Apart from being the cheapest ways to get to the stadium, the metro can also be quite flexible. Even though the Iranian national football team is one of the high-profile teams to call Azadi stadium as the home, domestic teams like Esteghlal and Persepolis also play on this ground. During the domestic games, the metro can be used without much difficulty but it can become quite crowded when high-profile opponents are visiting the capital.
The Azadi stadium does not refrain visitors from sitting in different parts of the stadium, as there are no seat numbers. One can pick up the tickets from outside the stadium or online. The latter would be preferred during the high-profile games, as such international matches could get crowded. It was not long ago that Iran was able to fill just under 130,000 people inside this stadium for a World Cup qualifier with Australia. The tickets for the domestic games would be extremely easy to get and it can often be picked up even on match days. Due to the size of the ground, the domestic games do not fill up often. Unsurprisingly, the domestic games are the cheapest option for fans who want to visit the Azadi stadium during a match day.
Saudi Arabia and Iraq
The Azadi stadium is quite old after having been constructed in the 1970s. Initially, the ground may not have had a great support for disabled spectators but this has improved following the recent innovation in 2003. Now, spectators are able to enjoy the ground thanks to special wheelchair access and parking spaces for the disabled fans.
Azadi stadium does not seem to run any tours of the stadium. However, fans who are interested in getting to know the Azadi sports complex in a closer way will be able to make use of the virtual tour facility available on the site. This virtual tour will provide a strong insight into the stadium through all the intricate details. One can navigate from the gate to see different sections of the stadium without having to step foot outside.
Iran v Australia in 1997: 128,000