Though a simple bowl concrete structure, the stadium is a breathtaking sight. Situated west of the capital, an arching, slightly raised outer shell appears to give way as sweeping stands sink down to pitch side, as if the ground collapsed during building. The stadium was the focus point in 1977 of the Tehran bid for the 1984 Olympic Games, in which it would have only required slight moderations to become the main Olympic Stadium, if Tehran had won the 1984 bid. Eventually political issues saw Tehran drop its bid for 1984, leaving the eventual host, Los Angeles, the only city left bidding.
In 2002, the lower level of the stadium had seats installed, the pitch was replanted along with the installation of an underground heating system. Stadium management also plans to later install seats in the upper level of the stadium. The renovations were completed in 2003, stadium was refurnished with 35,000 seats. Despite its reduced capacity, Azadi Stadium has been filled over capacity at times such as the Iran-Japan World Cup 2006 qualification match in March 2005 which resulted in the deaths of seven people. In 2004 a large jumbotron television was added, replacing the original scoreboard. This giant screen with a total area of about 300 square meters and screen area of 104 square meters (20m by 7.5m) is one of the biggest in the world. The stadium hosted two West Asian Football in 2004 and 2008. In 2008, AFC forced Sepahan to play the home matches in Champions League in this stadium after their home stadium was closed for renovation. The stadium also is the regular host for Iran U-23 for the Olympics football qualifying.