Hapoel Beersheba held its first training session at its new Turner Stadium.
(photo credit: TIMMY ABUKSIS)
Beersheba had played at Vasermil since 1959, but the club has been yearning to leave the outdated venue for many years and the successes of recent seasons only further stressed the need for a modern complex.
Turner Stadium, named after former Beersheba mayor Ya’akov Turner, is exactly that, with over NIS 200 million being spent on the construction of the venue, which can seat just over 16,000 fans.
The club sold a record of over 12,000 season tickets in anticipation of the opening of the new stadium and many of those supporters were in attendance on Wednesday. They will get their first chance to see the team playing in a match at Turner when Beersheba hosts Maccabi Haifa in Premier League action on Monday.
“The atmosphere in this stadium is electrifying,” said club owner Alona Barkat. “We have taken a quantum leap in many aspects.”
Vasermil Stadium was named after Arthur Vasermil, who was murdered by the Nazis at the Majdanek concentration camp at the age of seven in 1943. His mother, Lilly Friedman-Vasermil, funded the renovation of the municipal stadium in 1988 and it was named in honor of her son.
Apartment blocks are set to be built on the grounds of the old stadium, but Arthur Vasermil’s memory will continue to live at Turner, with the new stadium’s south stand being named in his honor.
“We are saying goodbye and thank you to Vasermil Stadium,” said Beersheba mayor Ruvik Danilovich. “I have no doubt that the new stadium will give the club a massive boost.”