Greece’s PAOK FC has appointed global architectural design firm Populous to begin work on designing a new stadium for the club, following government approval for the project.
The project will see the development of plans for a proposed new, state-of-the-art stadium and public realm to be built in place of the club’s existing home, PAOK Stadium in Thessaloniki, which dates back to 1959.
The first phase of work will explore options for a flexible stadium and precinct that can be adapted to host a range of professional and community-focussed sporting events, with the aim of creating a world-class facility that will enhance the social and economic fabric of the city of Thessaloniki.
Populous’ design will seek to integrate the proposed stadium development with public transport connections and infrastructure as part of a major new masterplan that will be a catalyst for regeneration.
Inclusivity will be at the heart of the design process: the proposed stadium will meet international standards for accessibility, the planned new facilities will include a family-friendly zone, and cutting-edge AV and communications technologies will be utilised to create a 21st-century fan experience to help attract and engage a new generation of PAOK FC supporters.
Makis Gagatsis, CEO / vice president of PAOK FC, said:
This is a historic day for PAOK FC and a day we have been waiting for for a long time. Today marks the first step towards the construction of the New Toumba, and we wouldn’t be where we are without the leadership of Ivan Savvidis. His vision and his persistence brought us here. The new stadium is something he has promised since day one and now that vision is being realised. It is a huge day for PAOK FC, for the club’s supporters, and the city of Thessaloniki.
Nicholas Reynolds, project director and senior principal at Populous, said:
PAOK FC have set out a clear vision for what they wish to achieve, on an amazing site steeped in history, right in the heart of the PAOK community. It is a great privilege and a wonderful opportunity for Populous, and we are excited about creating a stadium for the future, which will further elevate the cauldron-like atmosphere of the existing Toumba Stadium and deliver a new destination for Thessaloniki.
Barbara Vasilatou, project lead and senior associate at Populous, said:
We look forward to working alongside PAOK FC and the wider team to deliver a cutting-edge, inclusive and sustainable new home for the club. On a personal level, I am immensely proud to be involved in a project of such prestige in my home country. We will deliver a world-class design that places people at its heart and is embedded in its community and the local environment. The new stadium will be a unique landmark in the beautiful city of Thessaloniki that both fans and Thessalonians will cherish for generations to come.
Editorial credit: Bestravelvideo / Shutterstock.com
PSAM editor John Sheehan caught up with Yves De Cocker, Managing Director of PitchTecConcept, who explains how his company bridges the gap between sports organisations and the technology used in the playing surface industry.
The interview covers:
Yves 20+ years industry leading experience in the evolution of hybrid grass, trends he has noticed and some of the notable projects he has been involved with
The key reasons for Yves launching PitchTecConcept
Common mistakes often made with playing surface management
The steps he offers as a bridge between the industry and the end user
Advice to clubs looking to maximise their event calendars without compromising on the performance of their playing surface