Olympiacos to quit SEF (pics)

Olympiacos is considering moving away from their current SEF arena and instead moving a bit to east, to the Hellenikon indoor sports arena.

There are several reasons behind the move. After the unfortunate and yet expected riots in the last final game of Greek A1 (Olympiacos vs Panathinaikos) the administration of SEF arena (it is a state owned arena, like most in Greece) threatened Olympiacos with heavy fines and even eviction in case the club did not guarantee that such events would not occur again.

From Olympiacos point of view the arena was getting too old to host a Euroleague powerhouse eventhough the club made significant improvements in many areas of the arena. The most important reason was the existence of a running track around the court, which created a significant gap between the players and the fans.

Another reason for the move is the financial factor. Renting SEF costs Olympiacos around 500.000 euros per year while although no numbers were mentioned regarding the rent of Helleniko by Olympiacos, AEK Athens rented the arena last season for 15.000 euros + 17% of net income from ordinary and season tickets sales of the club.

AEK have already confirmed they will be using the arena next season too while several other Athenian clubs have also used it, either for Greek League or european Cups games such as Panionios, Maroussi and Panellinios.

The arena was built for the Athens 2004 Olympics and it is located at the old Athens Airport. It hosted the basketball tournament of the Olympics and it also hosts the notorious Panathinaikos vs Olympiacos Greek Cup finals.


(Images courtesy of stadia.gr )

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