Athens’ Olympic Stadium shut amid safety concerns

Featured image credit: Tilemahos Efthimiadis/CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED/Edited for size

The Olympic Stadium in Athens has been forced to temporarily close after a study found that the metalwork in the venue’s roof does not meet the legally required standard.

Issues have also been found on the roof at the nearby Athens Olympic Velodrome. All events at both venues have been suspended with immediate effect, venue operator OAKA said on Friday.

The defects were found after a study was carried out as part of a renovation contract between OAKA, Greece’s Ministry of Sports and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED). A second study will now be carried out to investigate the issue more thoroughly.

In a statement, the Greek Olympic Committee (HOC) welcomed the decision to suspend events at the two venues. The HOC has called for the studies to be carried out quickly so that any necessary repair work can take place immediately.

The velodrome was hosting a bridge tournament on Friday when the venue had to be evacuated. Several hundred people were in attendance.

Both venues were used during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The 70,000-seat Olympic Stadium is used by Super League football club Panathinaikos for its European matches.

The club’s next home match in the UEFA Europa League is against Stade Rennais on October 26. It is unclear when the stadium will be able to reopen.