Apostolos Nikolaidis stadiumEdit profile
Coordinates: 37°59′13.81″N 23°45′15.10″E / 37.9871694°N 23.754194°E / 37.9871694; 23.754194
Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium (Greek: Στάδιο Απόστολος Νικολαΐδης) is a football stadium in Athens, Greece. The stadium, has been the home of Panathinaikos FC and has played for most of the years of its existence, since its foundation back in 1908.
The stadium is named after deceased club president Apostolos Nikolaidis. It is in the Ambelokipi district of Athens, east of the Lycabettus Hill and on Alexandras Avenue, by which name it is most commonly known (Leoforos Alexandras or simply Leoforos). The stadium's record attendance was recorded in 1967, when 29.665 spectators watched the Cup Winners Cup game between Panathinaikos FC and FC Bayern Munich.
The venue also houses a small basketball and volleyball court, a swimming pool, a boxing rink and offices, all contained under the stands.History
Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium holds a very important place in the history of Greek football. The first stand was built in 1928, and for almost 50 years it hosted the majority of big matches in domestic and international competitions. It was the first to have floodlights installed (1938) and the first with a grass pitch (1958). It was the home of the Greek National Team for many years.
Panathinaikos left Leoforos in 1984 and moved to the Olympic Stadium. The club returned to their home ground in 2001, following an upgrading that cost €7 million.
On January 27, 2007 Panathinaikos Amateur and Panathinaikos FC decided to reuse Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium for the 2007/2008 Greek Super League season
Due to the stadium's old construction, dearth of space and dense urbanization of the area, the club has sought to move. Negotiations are currently under way between the Greek government, the Municipality of Athens, and the football, basketball, volleyball and amateur divisions of the club in order to facilitate the building of a new, comprehensive sports complex to house all of the 21 departments of Panathinaikos elsewhere. Finally, the industrial Votanikos district has been selected among others to house the complex and there are plans for the construction to begin in 2008. Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni has stated that such a project will revitalise the area as well as benefit the club.Indoor Hall
Under the East curve of the stadium, under Gates 6 and 7, there is an Indoor Hall.When it was constructed in 1959, it was the first indoor hall in Greece. It has a capacity of 1.500 and it is famous for the hot atmosphere Panathinaikos fans create in it. It's known by its nickname: "The Indian's Tomb". It was called like that by a journalist during its inauguration ceremony, as the claustrophobic feeling it created reminded him of the namesake film by Fritz Lang that was featured in cinemas during the same time. This nickname was so successful, that it was immediately adopted and is used until today to -informally- distinguish the indoor hall from the other facilities of the stadium.Other facilities
Apart from the football field and the indoor hall, the stadium includes a number of other facilities under its stands.These include the main shop of Panathinaikos football team, a cafe, a Pressroom and rooms for the training of other Amateur departments such as boxing, weightlifting, table-tennis etc., including a pool for the swimming department.Gates
Fan seating in Greece is segregated by team allegiance. Gate 13, the subject of much graffiti in Athens, is where the most enthusiastic Panathinaikos FC supporters sit in the stadium.Links
- "Apostolos Nikolaidis" stadium History and photos at stadia.gr (in English)