SPORTS

Panathinaikos now considers staying at Alexandras location

After a series of unsuccessful efforts in search of a new place to rebuild a bigger and better home stadium, Panathinaikos soccer club has decided to pursue developing the prospective project at its historic home ground in downtown Athens, the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium. The club could seek the State’s financial support but will first assess whether it can cover the project’s cost alone. Rival club Olympiakos recently struck a deal with the State for a long-term lease of the Karaiskaki Stadium in Neo Faliron, its home ground for decades. Olympiakos has agreed to refurbish the depleted 40,000-capacity stadium in time for the Athens Olympics at a cost of approximately 30 million euros in exchange. Yesterday, Panathinaikos shareholder Yiannis Vardinoyiannis submitted a proposal of the plan to Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos during a meeting between the two. The plan entails the complete demolition of the existing 15,000-capacity stadium and construction of a state-of-the-art arena able to seat 35,000 fans. Underground parking facilities have also been included in the plan. «The meeting’s climate was positive. We submitted a proposal for the stadium’s upgrade and the State has committed itself to assessing the plan through relevant officials and responding as soon as possible,» said the club’s president, Angelos Philippidis. Philippidis has also informed Panathinaikos’s amateur sports division of the club’s intention, asking for its support.