The Athens city council took a widely anticipated further step toward paving the way for Panathinaikos’s new sports stadium yesterday by voting in favor of establishing a special-purpose company that will facilitate property transfers needed for the downtown Athens project to proceed. The complex, which will house both the club’s soccer and basketball divisions, is being designated for the Votanikos downtown district, located just over a kilometer from Omonia Square. The club plans to purchase property in the area belonging to the National Bank of Greece and National Capital SA. Further developments concerning the prospective project are likely today, when Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis meets with Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias. Currently playing its home games at the Athens Olympic Stadium, Panathinaikos has pushed for state permission to move from its longtime home ground on Alexandras Avenue to a newly constructed modern complex. Other alternative locations proposed by the club have been rejected due to various concerns, notably environmental ones.