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Discovering the AEK Arena

The stadium of the Conference League final

Discovering the AEK Arena The stadium of the Conference League final

For the third consecutive year, an Italian team will play in the Conference League final, and for the second season in a row, it will be Fiorentina representing Serie A in the decisive match of this competition. Unlike last season, when Vincenzo Italiano's team faced West Ham as the underdog and lost 2-1, this year Fiorentina is favored on paper. The opponent is Olympiacos, playing in their first European final in the club's history. However, the Greek team has surprised everyone by eliminating the two main favorites for the trophy, Turkey's Fenerbahçe and Aston Villa, in the quarterfinals and semifinals. In short, the underdog label doesn’t bother Olympiacos; in fact, it seems to provide additional energy to José Luis Mendilibar's men. Not to mention, there is one factor in Olympiacos's favor: the 2024 Conference League final will be played in Greece, at the AEK Arena in Athens.

@aekfc Ανατριχίλα! Το εντυπωσιακό και συγκινητικό choreo των οπαδών της ΑΕΚ για τα 100 χρόνια του συλλόγου, σε όλη την έκταση των εξεδρών της OPAP ARENA λίγο πριν τη σέντρα του αγώνα με τον Άρη. Ένα συμβολικό ταξίδι στον αιώνα της ύπαρξης της ΑΕΚ, από την Πόλη, τη Σμύρνη και τον Πόντο μέχρι σήμερα, με «οδηγούς» τις μορφές του Κωνσταντίνου Σπανούδη, του Κώστα Νεγρεπόντη, του Νίκου Γκούμα, του Λουκά Μπάρλου και του Δημήτρη Μελισσανίδη! #aekaris #aekfc #aekfcseason2023_2024 #slgr #playoffs #aek100 #aekfc100 #100years πρωτότυπος ήχος - AEK FC

As the name suggests, it is not Olympiacos's home stadium but the venue where AEK Athens plays their home games. The arena holds great sentimental value for AEK fans. The stadium is located on the same site where the Nikos Goumas Stadium once stood, the historic AEK venue inaugurated in 1930 and closed in 2003 due to damage from a violent earthquake. It was demolished in the same year, but due to bureaucratic and political hurdles, construction of the new stadium didn’t start until 2017, even though the city’s plan was to use the 2004 Olympics to build a new facility. Meanwhile, AEK Athens had moved to the Stádio Olympiakó Spyros Louis, more commonly known as the Olympic Stadium, the most important venue in Athens, where the last European final in Greece was held in 2007: the Champions League final between Liverpool and Milan. The COVID-19 pandemic further delayed the work, but on September 30, 2022, AEK fans' long-awaited day arrived with the opening of the new AEK Arena.

@aekfc During Warm Up

It is a 30,000-seat stadium distributed across two tiers that run along the entire structure of the venue, with stands adjacent to the field. The visual impact from the inside is remarkable even without spectators, thanks to the optical effect created by the presence of yellow and black seats, the two official colors of AEK. From the outside, the impression is that of an ancient cathedral. The decorations are minimal, almost nonexistent, except for small arches along the entire upper band. What makes the difference is architect Thanasis Kyratsous's decision to use pastel colors for the enclosure as a reference to ancient walls. This chromatic choice is further enhanced by the presence of four columns on the sides of the structure, one pylon for each corner to support the structure. There are two concessions to modernity: the LED screens suspended from the roof behind the two goals and the white membrane covering the roof. For the rest, the AEK Arena, although completely new, gives the impression of coming from another era, a facility designed to highlight two fundamental elements of football: the fans and the passion.