Neo Gipedo Panathinaikou
|Target capacity||40 000|
|Category||Construction in progress|
|Contractor||GEK Terna, Ellaktor and Mytilineos consortium|
Neo Gipedo Panathinaikou – construction description
Why does Panathinaikos need a new stadium?
Panathinaikos, one of the biggest and most successful clubs in Greece, plays its matches at Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, the oldest football stadium still in use in the country. The club has also spent many seasons at the Olympic Stadium.
While the Olympic Stadium is on a day-to-day basis too large for the needs of the 'Shamrock', and also has an athletics track, the long-used 'Leoforos', on the other hand, can sometimes be too cramped. Although its unique atmosphere cannot be denied, it has problems meeting the latest criteria, especially international ones.
How did the concept for a new stadium in Votanikos come about?
Plans to build a new stadium for Panathinaikos date back to the 20th century. Locations in the Goudi and Elliniko districts were considered, eventually the Votanikos district, which is located a few kilometres west of the centre of the Athens agglomeration, was considered as the preferred site. The chosen site was occupied by disused factories. In 2007, the Eleonas metro station was opened not far away.
The site in Votanikos was offered by the city, which was keen to revitalise it. The club was to receive it on a 99-year lease. In addition to the stadium, Panathinaikos was to build sports halls, an Olympic swimming pool and other facilities to serve the club's various sports sections here. After the relocation, the city would instead receive Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, on the site of which a park was to be built, with an underground car park underneath.
The concept for the new stadium at Votanikos was conceived in 2006, by Portuguese architect Manuel Salgado, known, among other things, for designing Estádio do Dragão in Porto. The vision for Panathinaikos, by the way, contains many features of that venue. The final plan was realised by Greek architects from A&S Architects, and although the project has evolved over the years, the final design does not differ too much from the original concept.
What does the concept for the new stadium in Votanikos entail?
The architectural concept for Panathinaikos' new stadium can be seen on a separate subpage
The stadium is designed to hold around 40,000 spectators in three tiers of seating along the pitch and two behind the goals. The building behind the stands will receive as many as eight levels of facilities, up to three of which (depending on the topography) will be below ground level, largely for car parking. The entire development will be topped off with a roof and decorative façade.
When did the first works start at Votanikos?
In 2007, the disused industrial buildings were demolished. The plans for the site also included the construction of a large shopping centre, which was to be built independently of the stadium. Its construction started first, but was halted after 132 residents filed a complaint (the official reason was concern for the cormorants living here). After the court dismissed the application, construction never resumed, and an unfinished reinforced concrete skeleton remains today of the would-be shopping mall.
As for the stadium itself, groundworks were carried out in 2009, but then the economic crisis and the collapse of the Greek economy left the project stalled. Money for the construction reportedly wanted to put up a Saudi prince, but nothing came of that either. Eventually, the vision was shelved in 2013, and in 2014 plans were made to save the old Leoforos by partially rebuilding it.
When will the new Panathinaikos stadium be built?
In 2019, however, the vision for a stadium at Votanikos was revisited and the updated concept began to gain momentum. In November 2020, Panathinaikos was granted a 99-year lease on the site, and the local authorities, state government and banks signed an agreement to finance the investment. A significant part of the funding (€115 million) will be provided by a public investment fund for the development of sports infrastructure, with the rest coming from the reconstruction fund.
In March 2022, Panathinaikos members voted in favour of building a new stadium in an internal vote. The tender for the construction was launched on December 13, 2022, with the consortium of GEK Terna, Ellaktor and Mytilineos winning.
Preparatory work began on April 6, 2023 and the contract was signed on May 19. The contractor was given three years to complete the investment. The value of the contract is close to €120 million, with an additional €3 million to cost for an optional corridor connecting the stadium directly to the metro station. The contract also includes the construction of additional facilities, including an arena for 3,100 spectators and an open Olympic swimming pool.