PAOK Sports ArenaEdit profile
PAOK Sports Arena (in Greek: Κλειστό γήπεδο ΠΑΟΚ) is located in Thessaloniki, Greece and it hosts the PAOK BC and PAOK VC departments of PAOK. It was opened in the year 2000 and in the same year it hosted the Euroleague and Greek Cup final-fours. It is built on land donated by Ioannis Dedeoglou, for which PAOK BC holds an annual tournament in his honor. It has 8,500 seats for fans and guests (8,700 counting media seating) and has 502 parking spots. The PAOK volleyball department PAOK VC had to wait until 2002 to begin using the stadium.Directions to the stadium
The arena is in southeast Thessaloniki, Greece, located in the Pylea borough, 7 km from the city centre and around 1 km from Thessaloniki's International Airport. The arena lies 300m off the junction, on a small hill. Bus lines #69, #72 or #76 provide public transport to the arena.Construction of PAOK Sports Arena
PAOK BC had to wait 10 years from the laying of the arena's foundations (on March 18, 1990) and 12 years from the time Ioannis Dedeoglou donated the land (June 17, 1988) until the sports arena was complete.
Ioannis and his brother Thanasis Dedeoglou first began to think about a new major European sports arena in Thessaloniki in 1991, by donating land to PAOK. A proposal to host the Euroleague Final Four in the new Arena, increased the motivation to complete the stadium. FIBA Europe accepted the offer and the construction was finished in time. The stadium also hosted earlier that year the Greek Cup Final Four, as its first major event.Tournaments held
First Ioannis Dedeoglou Tournament
The first tournament took place in 2004 and four teams competed. They were KK Hemofarm, Panathinaikos BC, PAOK BC, and Ulker. The first games took place on September 24, 2004, in which Panathinaikos won against Hemofarm 83-79 while PAOK beat Ulker 77-57. The very next day Hemofarm vs. Ulker and PAOK vs. Panathinaikos took place, to decide who would earn the final positions. Hemofarm beat Ulker 84-74 for its third place finish and PAOK beat Panathinaikos in a close game of 79-76 for first place.Second Ioannis Dedeoglou Tournament
The second tournament was held in September 2005. The teams that participated were AEK, FC Barcelona, Red Star Belgrade, and PAOK. The first day of the tournament fans got to see a Greek derby between PAOK and AEK, which PAOK won 77-72. The next game of the day took place between Barcelona and Red Star, in which Barcelona won 77-67. The following day, AEK was put against Red Star and lost 54-75. The final was a real feast for the eyes, it finished with both teams tied at 87 points; it was a great game in which Barcelona ended up beating PAOK in overtime 102-101.Euroleague 2000 Final Four
PAOK Sports Arena hosted the Euroleague Final Four in 2000, during the Euroleague's inaugural year.Concerts
A number of concerts also take place in the arena. Artists that have performed include Pet Shop Boys and Sakis Rouvas. On the 18th of September in 2010, The Prodigy performed with an attendance of 10,000 people.Breakdown of Matches
- Panathinaikos Athens (GRE) - Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR) 73-67
FC Barcelona - Efes Pilsen 69-75
- Panathinikos Athens (GRE) - Efes Pilsen (TUR) 81-71
- Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR) - FC Barcelona (ESP) 65-51
- The stadium's inaugural game was the semifinal between AEK Athens BC and Maroussi BC. AEK qualified and went on to win the Cup.
- The first game featuring PAOK, took place on March 17, 2000, against Panathinaikos BC.
- PAOK player Anatoli Zurbenko scored the first points inside PAOK Sports Arena.
- PAOK Sports Arena is the largest privately-owned basketball stadium in Greece. Both the Olympic Indoor Hall and the Peace and Friendship Stadium (home grounds of Panathinaikos BC and Olympiakos BC, respectively) are larger, yet they are property of the Greek State.