Around the world,  Istanbul,  TDM,  Turkey

Attend a Basketball match in Istanbul (Turkey)

After attending several soccer games, I must discover basketball which is also very popular in Turkey.

I have to say that I am much less of a basketball fan than a soccer fan but I appreciate the intensity of the matches and the fact that I regularly have intense suspense until the end of the game.

That’s good, the Euroleague (the European Basketball Cup) has recently resumed.

It isn’t easy to find information on how to buy tickets.

I notice however that the match Fenerbhace – Khimki Moscow is available for sale on the Mobilet website.

EDIT October 2019: The Mobilet site no longer seems functional. Tickets must now be purchased on the Biletix website. I didn’t have the opportunity to buy tickets on this site but it is a Ticketmaster site which is an international platform, so I think you won’t have the payment problem I had encountered.

The site is well done, I check that it is indeed an official site and I set my heart on a 70 TL square.

Everything goes well until it’s time to pay: I try with two different bank cards, failure! I have a message “Your credit card isn’t allowed to online shopping”

I contact the support team by email and they come back to me very quickly and explain that it doesn’t always work with foreign cards. My interlocutor explains to me that there is also a story about 3D secure which is only triggered from 100 TLupwards.

So I try to buy two tickets: one at 70 TL and another at 50 TL to reach 100 TL. 3D secure is indeed triggered and I receive the SMS from my bank. Without success, failure again.

As a last resort, the support explains to me that I can buy tickets directly at the stadium on the day of the match if there are still seats available, or I can go to a shopping mall where a store sells the tickets.

This is the choice I make and so I go to the Hifimyfi store in the Kanyon shopping center.

The seller speaks English and the transaction is done in a few minutes. You will simply need to provide your phone number and passport number.

I retrieve a physical ticket but I can also retrieve it in a dematerialized way on the Mobilet application of my smartphone.

The match takes place on the Asian side at the “Ülker Sports Arena”, a modern arena (open in 2012) with a capacity of 15,000 seats.

From where I am, the trip is long (more than an hour) and I have to take a streetcar, a subway and a bus to be dropped off at the foot of the stadium.

The ticket office is open, I could have bought my ticket directly at the stadium.

Digging symbolic enough to reach the entrance of the stadium, I easily spot the entrance door thanks to my stand number.

Gantry where we have to scan our ticket and second search a bit more.

I finally arrive in the stadium. Wow, it’s huge! I’ve already been to a game at the American Airlines Arena in Miami which is a little bit bigger but I didn’t remember it being so impressive.

Since I took a cheap place, I’m in the upper part of the enclosure but the visibility is good despite everything.

The game is starting and the stands are quite far from being full.

As I told you I’m not a great basketball follower, the only player I know is the Frenchman from Fenerbahce Joffrey Lauvergne.

The beginning of the game is like a 3 points contest, the address is there on both sides.

However, Fenerbahce quickly got the upper hand and reached halftime with a comfortable +11 on the clock.

The beginning of the 3rd quarter is however terrible and Moscow inflicts a 10 – 0 to the Turkish club.

The Russians will even fail to take the lead in a 63 – 63 (if I remember correctly), a possession to follow.

This is the moment when the Istanbul coach knocks down his secret boot by bringing in the American Bobby Dixon. I don’t know him but he is acclaimed by the public.

This very small size for a basketball player (178 cm) will martyr Moscow by scoring 14 points in 12 minutes with a magnificent 4/5 to 3 points.

The Muscovites will not recover and Istanbul wins 93 – 85.

Frenchman Lauvergne will play only 9 minutes. His entry is promising with 2 baskets registered very quickly but a 0/3 on the free throw will tarnish his performance.

The atmosphere was very nice even though I was expecting a higher volume. The fans know how to put pressure on their opponents and encourage their team in critical moments.

I was positioned in block 414. The (small) support group was in the bend on my right, lower part. So if you want to be as close as possible to the atmosphere, you have to reserve a place in blocks 118, 119, 218 or 219.

The return trip is quite complicated: I wait for a long time for a bus that does not arrive, enter a mini-bus that goes in my direction and that advances me a little before finishing in a cab, option that I should have taken from the beginning.

Video summary of the game here: https: //

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