Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium (Στάδιο Απόστολος Νικολαΐδης) is the football ground Panathinaikos has played for most of the years of its existence, since its foundation back in 1908. The stadium is named after deceased club president Apostolos Nikolaidis. It is in the Ampelokipi district of Athens, east of the Lycabettus Hill and on Alexandras Avenue, by which name it is most commonly known (Leoforos Alexandras). The venue also houses a small basketball and volleyball court, a swimming pool, a boxing rink and offices, all contained under the stands.
Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium holds a very important place in the history of Greek football. The first stand was built in 1928, and for almost 50 years it hosted the majority of big matches in domestic and international competitions. It was the first to have floodlights installed (1938) and the first with a grass pitch (1958). It was the home of the Greek National Team for many years.
Panathinaikos left Leoforos in 1984 and moved to the Olympic Stadium. The club returned to their home ground in 2001, following an upgrading that cost €7 million. Time, however, is relentless and Panathinaikos finally left their aging stadium in 2005. Leoforos Stadium will be demolished and the area turned into a park.
Due to the stadium's old construction, dearth of space and dense urbanization of the area, the club has sought to move. Negotiations are currently under way between the Greek government, the Municipality of Athens, and the football, basketball, volleyball and amateur divisions of the club in order to facilitate the building of a new, comprehensive sports complex to house all of the 21 departments of Panathinaikos elsewhere. Finally, the industrial Votanikos district has been selected among others to house the complex and there are plans for the construction to begin in 2008. Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni has stated that such a project will revitalise the area as well as benefit the club.
Football: EMO FINDS BOOTS & SCORING TOUCH ..; GRP E: PANATHINAIKOS 1 RANGERS 1, FROM ATHENS but Samba Star Rues the Loss of Two Points
Oct 02, 2003; Byline: Iain Campbell BRAZILIAN star Emerson lost his boots on the way to the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium last night - but he...