May 31st, 2003

KARAISKAKI STADIUM is now part of history. At 7 PM yesterday the last standing piece of the old stadium's stands was demolished after an emotional ceremony attended by over 4,000 Olympiakos fans (PHOTO). It was the part containing the entrance of Gate 7, the site of the worst tragedy in the history of Greek football (twenty-one people were killed in a freak accident on the 8th of February 1981).

The demolition of Gate 7 ends the first phase for the construction of the new stadium that started 40 days ago. It was the 21st of April when the General Secretariat of Sports signed the deal that gave Olympiakos CFP exclusive use of their historic home for the next 49 years. This was on the premise that the club would be responsible for the construction of a new stadium to be used in the 2004 Olympic Games. The new football-only ground (no athletics track) will have to be ready by July 2004, since it will host several matches of the Olympic football tournament, including the finals. The construction of the 34,000-seater stadium will cost approximately 50 million. Olympiakos will also have to cover its operating costs for the next 49 years (around 50 million on top of the construction costs).

Related articles:
Karaiskaki Stadium to Olympiakos for 49 years, Parliament votes (6/3/03)
FIFA say Karaiskaki is only suitable venue for Olympics (10/12/02)
Government intervention puts Karaiskaki case back on track (16/11/02)
Olympiakos FC say they give up trying for Karaiskaki Stadium (13/11/02)
Cabinet meeting over new stadia of the Athens "big 3" (22/9/02)
Olympiakos return home in football and basketball (24/2/02)
Karaiskaki Stadium will host the football final in 2004 Olympics (23/01/02)
Olympiakos look set to return once again to Karaiskaki (2/10/01)
Olympiakos abandon Karaiskaki and will build new stadium (31/8/01)