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The Armenian First League is currently the second best football competition in Armenia after the Armenian Premier League. The competition consists mainly of reserve teams from several Premier League clubs. However, other teams are also participating. The reserve teams can not rise to the highest level, which means that a club rises even if they end the season in the middle of the table.
The Hrazdan Stadium was built from 1969 to 1970 at the Athens St., Kentron, over a period of 18 months with the financial backing of the oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. For Hrazdan a total of 5 million rubles were provided. The stadium was named after the slope of the river Hrazdan. It is the largest stadium in Armenia with more than 70,000 seats. The opening of the stadium took place on November 29, 1970. The Armenian national team played until 2000 home games in Hrazdan. Several Armenian football clubs also played in Hrazdan. In Russia times it was one of the largest stadiums of the Soviet Union (among the top four) and one of the few two-tier stadiums. Hrazdan was the football stadium of Ararat Yerevan. In the Hrazdan Stadium on May 19, 1971, the first official football game was held when Ararat Yerevan Kairat defeated before a record of 78,000 spectators 3-0. The stadium would record Ararat Yerevan for the final victory of the club in the Soviet Top League in 1973 and the Soviet Cup in 1973 and 1975. The national football team of the Soviet Union played in the stadium only two games, both of which date from 1978. In April of this year, the USSR won in a friendly against Finland with 10: 2. Half a year later, the Soviet team won again in a qualifier against the Uefa Euro 1980 against Greece 2-0. The match against Finland had 12,000 spectators and the match against Greece 40,000 spectators. The capacity of the stadium decreased from 70,000 to 53,849 spectators. By the second half of 2012, Hrazdan was completely renovated and became the regular venue for the national team home games.
The Republican Stadium was renovated in 1999 and has been home to Armenia since 2000. The stadium was built in 1953 and completed within a year. The Republican Stadium has a capacity of 14,968. During the Soviet era and from 1953 to 1999 it was known as Dinamo Stadium. The official name of the stadium was changed to "Republican Stadium, named after Vazgen Sargsyan" in 1999, after the Armenian war hero and former Armenian Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan died that year. Local clubs Pyunik and Ulisses play home games at the Republican Stadium. In 2008, the stadium underwent a major development to modernize the playing field and create a high-profile VIP area and other facilities that met UEFA standards.
Armenia played a game against Turkey in Hrazdan in 2008 after being partially renovated at the beginning of the year. The number of seats decreased from 75,000 to 53,849. It is planned to host Armenia's home games after a complete renovation in 2012. On 12 October 2012, Armenia played a FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifier against Italy, but since then Hrazdan has not been used. Hrazdan is mainly used for Armenian football clubs and a number of other sports competitions.
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