SPORTS

Panathinaikos basketball club’s president…

Panathinaikos basketball club’s president Pavlos Giannakopoulos (l) is greeted by Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis at a meeting yesterday that produced a deal for new soccer and basketball stadiums in the downtown Votanikos district, about a kilometer from Omonia Square. Reports said the Municipality of Athens and the club’s soccer and basketball divisions signed a 49-year lease deal worth a minimum of 3.6 million euros a year. Construction is scheduled to begin in October next year, and the complex is expected to be ready for 2008, when the historic club will celebrate its centennial year. The soccer stadium’s capacity will be between 35,000 and 40,000, and the basketball stadium will cater to between 6,000 and 8,000 fans, reports said. Bakoyannis said the club’s previous home stadium on Alexandras Avenue will be transformed into a municipal park with cultural and commercial wings.