Greece: Olympic Stadium in Athens closed for safety reasons

source:; author: Mateusz Osmola

Greece: Olympic Stadium in Athens closed for safety reasons The main arena of the 2004 Olympic Games had to be taken out of use. This was because the structure of the venue's roof failed safety tests and could pose a danger.


Stádio Olympiakó Spiros Louis in Athens had to be temporarily closed after a test showed that the venue's metal roof structure did not meet the legally required standards. The impressive canopy was designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Problems were also detected on the roof of the nearby Athens Olympic Velodrome. All events at both venues have been suspended with immediate effect, venue operator OAKA announced on Friday. 

Stádio Olympiakó Spiros Louis© Tilemahos Efthimiadis (cc: by-sa)

The faults were discovered after a study was carried out as part of a renovation agreement between OAKA, the Greek Ministry of Sports and the Assets Development Fund of the Hellenic Republic (TAIPED). A second examination will now be carried out to investigate the issue further.

In a statement issued, the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) accepted the decision to suspend events at both venues. The HOC called for a quick survey so that any necessary remedial work can be undertaken immediately. A bridge tournament was held at the velodrome on Friday, when the building had to be evacuated. Several hundred people attended the event.

Both venues were used during the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The 70,000-seat Olympic Stadium is used by Super League football club Panathinaikos for European matches. The club's next home match in the UEFA Europa League is on 26 October against Stade Rennais. It is unclear when the stadium will be able to reopen.

Stádio Olympiakó Spiros Louis© Toby Simkin (cc: by-nc-sa)