ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – There are no plans to sell the Franso Hariri Stadium in Erbil because it is an important site in the Kurdistan Region, Erbil’s governor Nawzad Hadi told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday.
“There are no plans to sell the Franso Hariri Stadium; it will remain where it is. Talks of getting rid of this stadium are only rumors,” Hadi told Kurdistan 24 on the sidelines of a Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) election campaign.
“The stadium is an important site in Erbil. Erbil Sports Club is currently using it. It would not make sense to remove it from the city,” he added.
In recent days, reports of the sale of the Franso Hariri Stadium have emerged, with rumors a new sports facility will be built elsewhere in the Kurdistan Region capital.
According to Hadi, the ground is the property of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and reports of its sale are far from the truth.
“There are talks of improving the stadium, increasing its capacity, as part of a master plan for renovations in Erbil, but the stadium will not be sold,” the Erbil governor explained.
The historic stadium was built in 1956 and has an official capacity of 19,000. It has hosted various sporting events, concerts, and rallies—notably in the lead up to the Kurdistan independence referendum.
Originally called the Erbil Stadium, the ground was renamed in 2001 after Franso Hariri, the former governor of Erbil who was assassinated that year.
The stadium is home to Erbil Sports Club and has hosted continental as well as international matches for the Iraq national team.