Stadio Nikos Goumas – until 2003
Stadio Nikos Goumas – historical stadium description
How was the first AEK Athens stadium built?
In 1924, AEK club was founded in Athens by refugees who had come from Istanbul after the end of the Greek-Turkish War. The club managed to obtain a site for its own stadium, which was inaugurated on November 2, 1930 with a friendly match against Olympiakos (2:2). In the following years, the infrastructure of the facility was expanded, which was only interrupted by the Second World War. During the war, Italian occupation troops were stationed at the stadium.
What was the post-war history of AEK Athens' first stadium?
After the war, work continued on the venue and a major expansion was carried out in the early 1960s. FC Barcelona came to inaugurate the expanded stadium on January 3, 1962, beating the hosts by a massive 6:0. The stadium had an athletics track and horseshoe-shaped stands, with free space behind the southern arch, and a capacity of around 35, 000-40, 000 spectators. From 1971 the facility was equipped with floodlighting.
In 1979, a new five-storey stand was built behind the south gate. Its upper level clearly overlapped the last rows of the lower tier. The lower storey, named 'Skepasti', was home to AEK's most die-hard supporters. Between 1985 and 1987, renovation work was carried out on the facility and AEK temporarily relocated to Olympic Stadium.
In 1991, the arena was named after Nikos Goumas, the club's president from 1956 to 1963, who was instrumental in the stadium's redevelopment in the early 1960s. Between 1992 and 1995, renovations were made to the interior space of the stadium, and in 1998 plastic seats were installed in all stands, reducing the stadium's capacity to 28,729 spectators.
Why was Nikos Goumas stadium demolished?
On September 7, 1999, Athens suffered a catastrophic earthquake, which also caused damage to the AEK stadium. The facility was closed for several months for emergency repairs. Despite being restored, its condition left much to be desired and it was decided to demolish it shortly afterwards. The last match, against Aris Thessaloniki, took place at the stadium on May 3, 2003. The venue was demolished shortly afterwards.
The dismantling of the stadium was undertaken with the belief that a new facility would soon be built in its place. The plan was to develop a football-specific stadium, along with a sports hall and shopping centre. It was hoped that the venue would be one of the arenas for the football tournament during the 2004 Olympic Games.
When was the new AEK Athens venue built on the site of the old stadium?
Objections from local residents, administrative obstacles and other circumstances, however, meant that plans for a new stadium could not go ahead, and AEK settled for a longer time at the Olympic Stadium this time. AEK's new venue on the site of the old Nikos Goumas Stadium was only built between 2017 and 2022.
What events has Nikos Goumas Stadium hosted?
The stadium has hosted a total of 1118 official matches for the AEK team over the 73 years of its existence. The team's total balance at this venue is 856 victories, 158 draws and 104 defeats. During the period played at this venue, AEK won 11 championship titles, positioning itself as one of the top football clubs in the country. In addition, the stadium was also used by other teams, including the Greek national team, which played 9 friendly matches at the old AEK stadium. The venue has also hosted concerts by well-known music stars, including The Cure, Iron Maiden, Bryan Adams, Tina Turner, Elton John, Sting and others.