Greece’s Council of State (CoS), the country’s supreme court, has approved a proposal that is set to lead to the complete redevelopment of Toumba Stadium, the home of Super League football club PAOK.
The redevelopment of the Thessaloniki-based club’s stadium has long been in the works, with the CoS now deeming legal a draft Presidential Decree concerning the approval of a Special Urban Plan for the district of Toumba, where the venue is located.
Toumba Stadium first opened in September 1959 and has a current capacity of under 29,000. PAOK has played at the stadium since it opened, with the redevelopment intended to bring the facility up to modern-day FIFA and UEFA standards.
The CoS has also approved the addition of two plots of land to the stadium footprint, based on a 2018 law. This is intended to ensure that the new-look Toumba Stadium can become a multi-purpose facility for wider public use, as well as becoming a tourist attraction.
Following the ruling, Konstantinos Zervas, Mayor of Thessaloniki, said in a statement: “This is a historic day for the PAOK team and Thessaloniki.
“The decision of the Council of State, which deems the draft Presidential Decree for Toumba legal, paves the way for a major intervention, which in addition to its sporting character has a clear social and developmental dimension for the wider region.
“PAOK has in front of it the prospect of a state-of-the-art stadium, which will house its dreams and aspirations – a stadium worthy of its size – and Thessaloniki the opportunity of a modern large-scale renovation with the creation of underground parking spaces, with more greenery and new sports facilities that will give growth to the wider area.
“The Municipality of Thessaloniki from the first moment acted as an accelerating force and acted quickly in all stages. I personally commit myself to do what is right for us, in order for this great project to take shape.
“The continuous upgrade of the sports infrastructure of Thessaloniki is necessary. We will do everything, so that all the teams of our city have sports facilities that they deserve and the people of Thessaloniki have a modern urban environment that will upgrade their daily lives.”