Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis announced on Monday that an international tender would be launched for the construction of a 40,000-seat football stadium for the historic Panathinaikos sports club, urban infrastructure upgrades, and the development of public spaces in the western Athens suburb of Votanikos as part the municipal authority’s ongoing urban overhaul.
Budgeted at 123 million euros to be financed through mixed national, European and private resources, the new Panathinaikos football stadium – with views to the Acropolis, an arena with 1,300 seats and suites, 325 underground parking spaces, seven shops – is set to be completed by 2026, said Bakoyannis during a press conference in Eleonas, attended by leading Panathinaikos team football players and media.
According to previous announcements, the long-delayed project will also include a 12,500-seat basketball arena, a volleyball stadium (1,500), an Olympic-size swimming pool, municipal sports, culture and recreational facilities, and green space.
Meanwhile, on Alexandras Avenue in Ambelokipi, central Athens, where the former Panathinaikos stadium known as “Leoforos” was built in 1922, the municipality will move ahead with the creation of a park, a sports museum, a café and an underground parking area.
“Today actions speak louder than words,” said Bakoyannis, adding that “the future has just begun”.
Bakoyannis stressed that the municipality will do everything in its power to ensure that the deadlines set out in the concession agreements are met.
Referring to Eleonas, just 3km from the Omonia Square, Bakoyannis said the government had invested in the area. The once rundown industrial Athens neighborhood which now has its own metro station is slated to undergo massive redevelopment works that will include road and pedestrian walkway upgrades, the creation of more public spaces, green zones and parks, and a multiuse sports complex, among others.
“Athens is expanding and a new city is being created, a modern city meeting all viability and sustainability criteria. Our plan for Eleonas foresees green spaces just under 50 percent,” the mayor said.
“In other words,” said Bakoyannis, “everything that went wrong in Athens over the last 200 years, will be done right in Eleonas”.