A new piece of legislation tabled in Parliament on Friday would sacrifice a section of a major park located in the Athens suburb of Nea Filadelfia for AEK to build a new soccer stadium.
The draft law proposes that AEK will be allowed to use 6,000 square meters of the 480,000-square-meter park, and is one of only a few large parks in Greece’s capital city.
The new structure will mostly be built on the site of AEK’s former ground, which the club was using from 1930, but abandoned in 2003. The area of the former stadium covers 26,600 square meters of public land which had been granted to AEK by the Greek state in 1934, and housed the stadium, which was demolished following the 1999 Athens earthquake. The new stadium is expected to be completed by 2015.
The article submitted to the Greek Parliament is part of a broader legislation by the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change that forms the Athens-Attica Regulatory Plan, Article 81 of which would grant AEK another 2,500 square meters of public land.
The legislation further provides for public authorities in other parts of Greece to also give up parkland for sporting purposes.