Stádio Apostolos Nikolaidis (Leoforos)
|Renovations||2001, 2007, 2013|
|Cost||€7 million (2001), €800,000 (2007), €2 million (2013)|
|Record attendance||29,665 (Panathinaikos - Bayern, 18/10/1967)|
|Address||160 Alexandras Avenue, Ampelokipoi, Athens, Greece|
Description: Stádio Apostolos Nikolaidis
Greece's oldest football stadium constantly in use was built in 1922 as the home to Panathinaikos, established 14 years earlier. The first grandstand was erected in 1928, allowing 6,000 people to come in.
Its importance for Greek sport and sports infrastructure is quite high. It was, after all, the first stadium to get floodlights, already in 1938. It was also the first to have a full natural turf in 1951. That same year its capacity reached 13,000 with the addition of the west end, known to this day for the vocal abilities of Gate 13, a section of the most vibrant supporters.
By 1959 the stadium was also the first in Greece to have an indoor hall built underneath the auditorium. Known as the Indian Tomb, it can hold some 1,500 people and is located east of the stadium.
Between 1931-84 Leoforos was the official home of the Greek national team. In 1984 Panathinaikos relocated to the newly built Olympic Stadium and returned to its roots after its thorough, though gradual, revamp in 2001. At that point the north end was covered, later followed by new cover of the south side. Despite many works having been done before the 2004 Olympics, the stadium never made it to the list of venues, it was still below expectations.
Sitting at the basis of Mount Lycabettus, the stadium bears the name of Panathinaikos player and coach Apostolos Nikolaidis. Its unusual shape with stands almost (or literally, in parts) hanging over pavements is of course caused by severe spatial constraints in the Ampelokipoi district.
The most common name, partly due to similarities between Panathinaikos the club and Panathinaiko the stadium, is simply Leoforos. In Greek the word means simply 'avenue' as the stadium lies beside one of Athens' most important avenues, Leoforos Alexandras.
Further modernisations followed in 2007 and 2017, though they changed little in the building's shape.
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New design: Panathinaikos reveals stadium ambitions
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The impoverished powerhouse of Greek football prepare to move back to their historic Leoforos stadium. After current season ends, capacity is to be increased to reach 20,000 seats.