AEK’s search for the right place to build its new stadium has taken a new turn with two new proposals – both within close proximity of the capital’s Attiki Odos highway – now figuring as the prime choices for the project. The club’s boss Demis Nikolaidis emerged from a meeting with Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias saying that new prospects had arisen. Nikolaidis ruled out the prospect of a new stadium in Nea Philadelphia in northern Athens, where the club’s traditional stadium was recently demolished. The local municipality challenged efforts to approve construction of a new stadium there, saying the new structure – which will include adjacent commercial outlets – would detrimentally affect local business. The municipality has also said that improved regional road infrastructure would be needed to carry the project. «The countdown has begun. Yes, it’s true, something good has been found. We met once again with Mr Souflias, and it is obvious that the State is willing to help,» Nikolaidis said. «We’ve decided on two locations, east and west of Attiki Odos.» Nikolaidis said a further meeting with Souflias had been scheduled for the end of July. Souflias, commenting on his meeting with Nikolaidis, said a constructive session had been held. «We will analyze the options further and meet again in 20 days to decide which of the two will qualify,» Souflias said. The minister also said that the Goudi location, which the Panathinaikos club had considered as an option for its new stadium, would be developed into a badly needed metropolitan park measuring at least 150 hectares. Like AEK, Panathinaikos’s quest for a new stadium at the Goudi site has met with residential and environmental concerns. More recently, Panathinaikos has made progress on another alternative site, located about a kilometer from downtown Omonia Square. «The final decision on Goudi is that it will be developed as a metropolitan park in association with the Defense Ministry, which, as you know, owns a considerable part of the site,« Souflias said. He said development on the project would begin soon.