The pre-2004 Olympic Stadium
(1982 to 2002)
This page presents older photos of the Athens Olympic Stadium, before the extensive works that literally transformed it for the 2004 Olympic Games. It was the summer of 2002 that marked the end of the first era, not just for the stadium, but generally for the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (AOSC, better known by its initials in Greek as OAKA).
The foundation stone for the Olympic Stadium was laid on 7/1/1980. Its construction was revolutionary and involved the use of a prefabrication method for the 34 sets of pillars supporting the stands (each weighed 600 tons). About 26,000 seats of the lower tier were covered, while the stadium's most striking feature were the four leaning pillars that held its floodlights, each being 62 metres tall. The Athens Olympic Stadium was finally inaugurated in September 1982.
As it is clear, the stadium was constructed in record time, especially considering this happend more than 20 years ago. The reason was no other than the pressing dates for the 1982 European Athletics Championships. The last great event that the stadium hosted before its recent upgrading were the 1997 World Athletics Championships.

In the meanwhile, the Athens Olympic Stadium had also served as the venue for two European Cup (later Champions League) finals: On 25/5/83 Hamburg beat Juventus by 1-0, while on 18/5/94 Milan thrashed Barcelona by 4-0. A CupWinners' Cup final was also played there on 13/5/87, when Ajax defeated Lokomotiv Leipzig by 1-0.
The Olympic Stadium was used by the three biggest clubs in Greece as their home for various time periods. Olympiacos played there from 1984 to 1989 and from 1997 until 2002. Panathinaikos used it as home from 1984 until 2000. AEK Athens also played there from 1985 to 1987. This means that for a couple of seasons in the mid-1980s the stadium hosted all three major Greek clubs (which set a record total of 45 games played and 1,784,844 tickets sold in 1985-86)!
You may also visit the following pages related to the stadium: plans, works, new stadium.
Aerial photos on this page come from the website of the General Secretariat of Sports
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The Athens Olympic Stadium
The Athens Olympic Sports Complex in Maroussi
The Athens Olympic Stadium
Outside the Olympic Stadium during the 1997 World Athletics Championships
The Olympic Stadium hosting an Olympiakos match for the UEFA Champions League
View from the upper tier of the Olympic Stadium
The Athens Olympic Stadium