All activities at the Olympic Stadium and the Velodrome at the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens (OAKA) have been suspended since Friday night due to safety reasons.
According to a statement issued by the stadium management, suspended have been also all activities at the central circulation spine for the complex that connecting the Olympic Stadium and the Velodrome.
OAKA said that the decision was based on a report reviewing the metal structures and polycarbonic roofs at the OAKA sports complex, which “do not match the regulatory allowable levels of static adequacy.”
The report was carried out as part of a renovation agreement signed by the Sports Ministry, OAKA, and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF).
The OAKA complex with its iconic arches was designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, and opened for use at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Its cost was estimated at 130 million euros. Over the years funding was released for its maintenance that apparently never happened.
According to newspaper topontiki.gr, figures submitted to the Parliament raised the cost of all Calatrava’s projects at OAKA to over 370 million euros, with an initial cost of just over 250 million.
In 2014, after the outcry from the international media about the situation in which the Olympic facilities in Greece have fallen in the midst of the crisis, it was decided to activate the state mechanism and to announce maintenance work on the canopy.
In August 2014, 8 million euros were disbursed from the Public Works Program of the Attica Region for the maintenance and repair of the roof, which had not been maintained at all in the 10 years that had passed since its construction.
The OAKA managers did not specify how long the suspension would last, but added that a second report would be drafted as quickly as possible, providing more details and confirming or rejecting the data provided by the first report.
If not resolved by end-October, the safety measure is expected to create problems for Panathinaikos FC in terms of its European games, as OAKA is its home turf during the Europa League games, with a game coming up on October 26 against Rennes and Maccabi Haifa on December 14, 2023.
PS and to think that all these years the OAKA has hosted thousands of people attending sports, cultural and music events.