After more than a decade, it finally looks like the return of AEK to Nea Filadelfia might be more than just a dream. That magical place that hosted AEK for so many years, that stadium that saw some of the greatest games ever played by a Greek team, where so many generations of AEK supporters until now went every Sunday to watch the team they loved play… Nea Filadelfia may once again be our home.
Technically after today’s press conference (held 19:00 local time), everything is official, and we’ve certainly seen more promising signs than ever before… Now its just a matter of seeing some construction start (apparently it will all start some time in January).
Pictures of what the “Agia Sofia” will look like can be seen at the bottom of the link here.
Here’s my opinion of what we’ve seen so far (not that it matters)
Pros: -Definitely looks a lot like Agia Sofia. I remember when I visited Konstantinoupoli a few years ago and I looked across to the Golden Horn, the first thing my eye was drawn to was Agia Sofia across the water, lit up at night. It was beautiful, something I’ll never forget, and the design of the stadium certainly captures some of those features
-I really love the area surrounding the stadium. When I lived in Athens one of my favourite places to hang out with my friends was that huge expanse outside of the olympic stadium, and there were always other people hanging out there. Riding bikes, sitting by the fountains (when they were working), taking dogs for a walk, it was a neat place to be, especially with the impressive stadium in the background. I can really see the space surrounding the “Agia Sofia” becoming something like that, a social place for the people of Nea Filadelfia as well as a stadium.
-I love the fact that they managed to get two levels in the stadium. I think it will make it look that much more impressive. Hopefully it will also bring back some images of the “Skepasti” from our original stadium
Cons: -I’m hoping this is just because all we have to go by so far are some drawings, but I really hope there are some plans to add some colour to the exterior, both the roof above the stands but specifically the exterior of the stadium itself. I’m sure come match day, with all the vendors, banners hanging down, and yellow and black jerseys everywhere, there will just naturally be more colour present, but I’d also personally like to see a little more. Not necessarily over the top with the paint, but just a little something here and there.
Overall though, everything is very promising, and we’re definitely progressing in ways that we haven’t until now. And it’s about time. Next year will be the team’s 90th year in existence. In those 90 years this team has contributed so much to Greek football, has given so many memories to its supporters. A team like AEK deserves a stadium of its own, and so do the supporters.