Olympic Stadium (Athens)

Last updated

Athens Olympic Stadium
Olympic Stadium
Olympic stadium,Athens 18.JPG
Olympic Stadium (Athens)
Full nameOlympic Athletic Center of Athens O.A.K.A (Spyros Louis)
Former namesSpyros Louis Stadium
Location Maroussi, Athens, Greece
Public transit Logo of the Athens Metro Operating Company (AMEL).svg Athens Metro Line 1.svg Eirini station
Logo of the Athens Metro Operating Company (AMEL).svg Athens Metro Line 4.svg Olympic Stadium Metro Station (2030)
Owner Hellenic Olympic Committee
OperatorOAKA S.A.
Executive suites17
  • 69,618 (regulated capacity) [1]
  • 75,000 (total capacity)
72,000 (2004 Summer Olympics) [2]
Record attendance82,662 (U2 360° Tour)
75,263 (Olympiacos FCHamburger SV, 3 November 1983)
Field size105 x 68 m [1]
SurfaceGrass, track
Broke ground1979 [1]
Opened8 September 1982 [1]
Renovated2002–2004 [1]
Construction cost€265 million (2004)
ArchitectWeidleplan (arch. H. Stalhout, Fr. Herre and D.Andrikopoulos)
Santiago Calatrava (renovation)
Official Website

The Olympic Stadium of Athens "Spyros Louis" (Greek : Ολυμπιακό Στάδιο Αθηνών "Σπύρος Λούης", Olympiakó Stádio Athinon "Spyros Louis") is a sports stadium in Athens, Greece. It is a part of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex and is named after the first modern Olympic marathon gold medalist in 1896, Spyros Louis. The stadium hosts two of the biggest sport clubs in Greece, Panathinaikos and AEK Athens. The stadium served as the main stadium during the 2004 Summer Olympics.



Located in the area of Marousi in Athens, the stadium was originally designed in 1980 and built in 1980–1982. It was completed in time to host the 1982 European Championships in Athletics. It was inaugurated by the President of Greece at the time, Konstantinos Karamanlis, on 8 September 1982. One year later, in 1983, OAKA Stadium hosted the 1983 European Cup Final between Hamburger SV and Juventus (1-0). In 1987, the stadium hosted the 1986–87 European Cup Winners' Cup final between Ajax and Lokomotiv Leipzig (1-0). Olympic stadium is an UEFA category four stadium and is the largest stadium in Grecce. In 1994, OAKA Stadium hosted their second 1994 UEFA Champions League Final, this time contested between AC Milan and Barcelona (4-0). It also hosted several events of the 1991 Mediterranean Games and the 1997 World Championships in Athletics, sought in order to prove that it was capable of hosting major sporting events after the failure of Athens to win the 1996 Summer Olympics but successfully hosting the 2004 Summer Olympics.

It was extensively renovated in time for the 2004 Summer Olympics and the 2004 Summer Paralympics, including a roof designed by Santiago Calatrava, and innovatively positioned with Enerpac hydraulics. [3] The roof was added atop the sidelines and completed just in time for the opening of the Games. The stadium was then officially re-opened on 30 July 2004. It hosted the athletics events and the football finals at the Olympics and the athletics at the Paralympics. [4] It also hosted the opening ceremony on 13 August 2004, and the closing ceremony on 29 August 2004 along the paralympics ceremonies on 17 and 28 September. In 2007, OAKA Stadium hosted the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final between AC Milan and Liverpool (2-1). The stadium's attendance was reduced to 72,000 for the Olympics, the initial capacity was some 75,000, though only 69,618 seats were made publicly available for the track and field events and slightly more for the football final. The turf system consists of natural grass in modular containers which incorporate irrigation and drainage systems.


Olympic Stadium Athens OAKA plan.jpg


The foundation stone for the Olympic Stadium was laid on 7 January 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.


The stadium was renovated from 2002 until 2004 adding the famous roof for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The central lawn of O.A.K.A consists of approximately 6.000 plastic capsules inside which thermophile lawn is grown. The capsules are adjoining, their size is 1.2*1.2m and are situated on a flat cement surface of two acres, flanked by two lateral drainage channels. The irrigation of the lawn is achieved by 35 automatically elevated water launchers with the use of programmed irrigation. This system allows the movement of the lawn to an area outside the stadium in order for the surface to be used for different events. Thirty-four entrance gates provide access to the stands. Odd gate numbers (1 to 35) lead to the lower and even numbers (2 to 34) to the upper tier. There are no gates numbered 18 and 36, since the two video-scoreboards are located in their place. Additionally, the stadium features 17 VIP boxes and 3 parking lots. Due to its design, the stadium's tribunes have the ability to empty within 7 minutes.

Competition Area

  • 105X68m football field
  • 400m track of 9 lanes
  • 4 pole vault boxes
  • 4 circles for shot put
  • 2 lanes for javelin
  • 2 circles for discus throw (one of which is equipped with a safety net which can be transformed into a hammer circle)
  • 6 lanes for long jump and triple jump
  • 2 mattresses for high jump
  • 2 electronic scoreboards


Designed by the world-known Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava the roof cost €130 million. The two giant arcs have a total span of 304m and a maximum height of 72m. The roof has a total weight of 18,700 tons coverering by 5,000 polycarbonate panels which covers an area of 25,000 sq m. The west arc was assembled 72m from its final position and the east 65m - both later slid into place-. The roof is designed to withstand winds up to 120 km/h and earthquakes up to 8 richter scale.


Access by:

Car - Exit the city centre to the north via Kifissias Avenue and just follow the roadsigns to "OAKA". If you come from the Attiki Odos ring road, use exit 11 ("Kifissias - Ol. Stadium").

Bus - Use X14 from Syntagma Square in central Athens. It will take you directly to the Olympic Stadium. Allow at least 30', although this can vary a lot.

Metro - It is a 25' ride from the city centre ("Omonia"). Use line M1 and get off at "Irini" or "Neratziotissa". From there it is a 10' walk through the Olympic Complex to the stadium.


[ citation needed ]


Concerts at Olympic Stadium "Spiros Louis"
3 October 1988 Sting, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Tracy Chapman, Youssou N'Dour, George Dalaras Human Rights Now! -
31 May 1989 Pink Floyd A Momentary Lapse of Reason 60,000
9 June 1992 Frank Sinatra -18,000 [5]
24 May 1993 Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion 55,000
16 September 1998 The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon 79,446 [6]
3 July 2001 Eros Ramazzotti Stilelibero -
20 July 2006 Shakira Oral Fixation Tour 40,000
26 July 2007 George Michael 25 Live 40,000
27 September 2008 Madonna Sticky & Sweet 75,637
28 May 2009 AC/DC Black Ice World Tour 50,000
8 July 2009 Carlos Santana Live Your Light25,000
3 September 2010 U2 360° 82,662
13 July 2011 Pyx Lax Concert in memory of Manos Xydous80,000
20 July 2011 Bon Jovi Open Air 60,652
4 September 2012 Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm With You approx.60,000
31 July 2013 Roger Waters The Wall 25,807
3 July 2014 Antonis Remos, Despoina Vandi, Melina Aslanidou, Michalis Kouinelis (Stavento) One Country, One Voice50,000+
19 September 2014 Lady Gaga ArtRave: The Artpop Ball 26,860 [7]
9 June 2023 Celine Dion Courage World Tour [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

1896 Summer Olympics Games of the I Olympiad, held in Athens

The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was the first international Olympic Games held in modern history. Organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which had been created by French aristocrat Pierre de Coubertin, it was held in Athens, Greece, from 6 to 15 April 1896.

2004 Summer Olympics Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, held in Athens in 2004

The 2004 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad and commonly known as Athens 2004, was an international multi-sport event held from 13 to 29 August 2004 in Athens, Greece. The Games saw 10,625 athletes compete, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team officials from 201 countries. There were 301 medal events in 28 different sports. Athens 2004 marked the first time since the 1996 Summer Olympics that all countries with a National Olympic Committee were in attendance, and also saw the return of the Olympic Games to the city where they began. Having previously hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896, Athens became one of only four cities at the time to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games on two occasions.

2004 Summer Paralympics

The 2004 Summer Paralympics, the 12th Summer Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee, held in Athens, Greece from 17 to 28 September 2004. 3,806 athletes from 136 National Paralympic Committees competed. 519 medal events were held in 19 sports.

Luzhniki Stadium Stadium In Moscow, Russia

Luzhniki Stadium is the national stadium of Russia, in its capital city, Moscow. The full name of the stadium is Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex. Its total seating capacity of 81,000 makes it the largest football stadium in Russia and the ninth-largest stadium in Europe. The stadium is a part of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex, and is located in Khamovniki District of the Central Administrative Okrug of Moscow city. The name Luzhniki derives from the flood meadows in the bend of Moskva River where the stadium was built, translating roughly as "The Meadows". The stadium is located at Luzhniki Street, 24, Moscow.

Panathenaic Stadium

The Panathenaic Stadium or Kallimarmaro is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens, Greece. One of the main historic attractions of Athens, it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.

Athens Olympic Sports Complex Sports facility

The Olympic Athletic Center of Athens Spiros Louis or OACA ), is a sport facilities complex located at Marousi, northeast Athens, Greece. The complex consists of five major venues as well as other supplementary sport facilities.

The Athens Olympic Velodrome is a velodrome stadium that is located in Marousi, Athens, Greece, at the Athens Olympic Sports Complex. The stadium, which seats 5,250 - though only 3,300 seats were made publicly available for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games - has distinctive twin roofs, covering the stands on each side.

O.A.C.A. Olympic Indoor Hall

The O.A.C.A. Olympic Indoor Hall, which is a part of the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens (O.A.C.A.) «Spyros Louis», was completed in 1995, and was the largest indoor venue in use for sporting events at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. It is located in Marousi, Athens. It is considered to be one of the biggest and most modern indoor sports arenas in all of Europe.

AEK Athens F.C. Association football club

AEK Athens Football Club is a Greek professional football club based in Nea Filadelfeia, a suburb of Athens, Greece.

Johan Cruyff Arena Sports venue in Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Johan Cruyff Arena is the main stadium of the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam and the home stadium of football club AFC Ajax since its opening. Built from 1993 to 1996 at a cost equivalent to €140 million, it is the largest stadium in the country. The stadium was previously known as the Amsterdam Arena until the 2018–19 football season, when it was officially renamed in honour of legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff who died in March 2016.

Olympiacos F.C. Greek association football club

Olympiacos Football Club, also known simply as Olympiacos, Olympiacos Piraeus or with its full name as Olympiacos C.F.P., is a Greek professional football club based in Piraeus, Attica. Part of the major multi-sport club Olympiacos CFP, their name was inspired from the ancient Olympic Games and along with the club's emblem, the laurel-crowned Olympic athlete, symbolize the Olympic ideals of ancient Greece. Their home ground is the Karaiskakis Stadium, a 32,115-capacity stadium in Piraeus.

Nea Smyrni Stadium Stadium in Athens, Greece

Nea Smyrni Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens, Greece. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Panionios G.S.S. which plays for the Greek Super League. The stadium is located in the southern suburb of Nea Smyrni, which is the heart of the team's fanbase. The all seated stadium holds 11,700 spectators and was built in 1939. Before full seating was installed on 1998 for the participation of Panionios FC in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup its capacity was close to 19,000. The stadium is eligible to host UEFA Europa League matches and its football pitch dimensions are about average at 105x72m.

Ethnikos Piraeus F.C. Football club

Ethnikos Piraeus 1923 Football Club is a Greek football club based in Piraeus and its parent sports club is Ethnikos OFPF. The club was officially formed in 1923 as Keravnos, but existed since 1922. One year later the club was renamed to Young Boys Titan, after some players' secession that formed Peiraikos Podosfairikos Omilos. The club was renamed to Ethnikos on 23 December 1924, after it merged with Peiraikos Podosfairikos Omilos.

P.A.O.K. Sports Arena

P.A.O.K. Sports Arena is an indoor arena located in Pylaia, Thessaloniki, Greece, and it hosts the P.A.O.K. B.C. and P.A.O.K. V.C., departments of the multi-sports club P.A.O.K. It has also been used as the home court for P.A.O.K. H.C., until 2017. It was opened in 2000, and in the same year, it hosted the EuroLeague and Greek Cup final-fours. It is built on land donated by Ioannis Dedeoglou, for which P.A.O.K. B.C. holds an annual tournament in his honor. It has 8,500 seats for fans, media and VIP guests, and has 502 parking spots. The capacity for basketball and volleyball games with standing room, and for concerts is 10,237. PAOK Sports Arena is the largest privately owned arena in Greece.

Hellenic Olympic Committee

The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) is the governing Olympic body of Greece. It is the second oldest National Olympic Committee in the world, it organizes the country's representatives at the Olympic Games and other multi-sport events.

Greece has risen to prominence in a number of sporting areas in recent decades. Football in particular has seen a rapid transformation, with the Greek national football team winning the 2004 UEFA European Football Championship. Many Greek athletes have also achieved significant success and have won world and olympic titles in numerous sports during the years, such as basketball, wrestling, water polo, athletics, weightlifting, with many of them becoming international stars inside their sports. The successful organisation of the Athens 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games led also to the further development of many sports and has led to the creation of many world class sport venues all over Greece and especially in Athens. Greek athletes have won a total 146 medals for Greece in 15 different Olympic sports at the Summer Olympic Games, including the Intercalated Games, an achievement which makes Greece one of the top nations globally, in the world's rankings of medals per capital.

The 2009–10 Greek Football Cup was the 68th edition of the Greek Football Cup.

Beijing National Stadium

Beijing National Stadium, officially the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, is a 91,000-capacity stadium in Beijing. The stadium was jointly designed by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron from Basel-based architecture team Herzog & de Meuron, project architect Stefan Marbach, artist Ai Weiwei, and CADG, which was led by chief architect Li Xinggang. The stadium was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics and will be used again in the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The Bird's Nest sometimes has temporary large screens installed at the stands.

Venues of the 2004 Summer Olympics

For the 2004 Summer Olympics, a total of thirty-five sports venues were used. Athens hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, which used venues such as Panathinaiko Stadium and the city of Marathon for whom the long-distance race would be named for. From the end of the 1896 Games until the late 1970s, Greece underwent numerous political changes that included the Balkan Wars, two World Wars, a civil war, and a military coup that resulted in a junta that lasted from 1967 to 1974. A change in democracy in 1975 resulted in Greece's admission into the European Economic Community in 1979. Athens first bid for the 1996 Summer Olympics as part of the 100th anniversary of the Modern Olympics, but was upset by Atlanta, Georgia in the United States for the Games in 1990. Seven years later, Athens won the right to host the 2004 Summer Olympics. At the time of the awarding, 75% of competition and 92% of training venues were available though a massive construction, and a renovation program was taken to get the venues ready for the games. Accessibility and environmental issues were taken into account in venue design and construction. The marathon course used was the same one used for the 1896 Games, though it was 2.195 km (1.36 mi) longer to the marathon not being standardized until 1924. Canoe slalom's venue at Ellinikon was the first using saltwater, having it pumped in from the Aegean Sea. After the Olympics, the Markopoulo Olympic Shooting Centre was converted into a police training center, while two other venues were converted into entertainment centers.

Karaiskakis Stadium Football stadium in Piraeus, Attica, Greece

The Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, commonly referred to as the Karaiskakis Stadium, is a football stadium in Piraeus, Attica, Greece, and the home ground of the Piraeus football club Olympiacos. With a capacity of 32,115, it is the largest football-only stadium and the second largest football stadium overall in Greece. It is named after Georgios Karaiskakis, a military commander of the Greek War of Independence, who is considered a national hero and was mortally wounded in the area.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Description: Capacity". O.A.K.A. "Spiros Louis". Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  2. 2004 Summer Olympics official report. Archived 19 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine Volume 2. pp. 242, 324. Accessed 22 December 2010.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. 2004 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 2. pp. 242, 324.
  5. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1992-06-25/features/9202260048_1_promoters-athens-frank-sinatra
  6. "Boxscore, Top 10 concert grosses". Billboard. Billboard Newspaper, Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 3 October 1998. p. 20. ISSN   0006-2510 . Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  7. "Billboard Boxscore :: Current Scores". Billboard. November 20, 2014. Archived from the original on November 8, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  8. https://www.celinedion.com/in-concert/
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Stadion Evžena Rošického
European Athletics Championships
Main venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by
De Kuip
European Cup
Final venue

Succeeded by
Stadio Olimpico
Preceded by
Stade de Gerland
European Cup Winners' Cup
Final venue

Succeeded by
Stade de la Meinau
Preceded by
UEFA Champions League
Final venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by
IAAF World Championships in Athletics
Main venue

Succeeded by
Estadio de La Cartuja
Preceded by
Sydney Olympic Stadium
Summer Olympics
Opening and closing ceremonies

Succeeded by
Beijing National Stadium
Preceded by
Sydney Olympic Stadium
Summer Olympics
Olympic Athletics competitions
Main venue

Succeeded by
Beijing National Stadium
Preceded by
Sydney Olympic Stadium
Summer Olympics
Men's football final

Succeeded by
Beijing National Stadium
Preceded by
Stade de France
UEFA Champions League
Final venue

Succeeded by
Luzhniki Stadium