AEK is building a new stadium in Nea Filadelphia, Athens, Greece.
The ‘Athlitiki Enosh Konstantinoupolis’ will have a new home in its original site soon.
Their old home was demolished, like many of the Asia Minor dwellings in its neighbourhood, following the earthquake that rattled Athens, in September 1999.
For nearly twenty years, the athletic club trained in grounds borrowed by other clubs, steadily declining in performance, getting in debt, and dropping to second division.
AEK has a passionate following, mainly Greek Asia Minor refugees that were moved in stone build dwellings in Nea Philadelphia following the exchange of the population with Turkey, in the 1920’s. They were settled as refugees, in a town modeled in the minor asian counterpart’s design and the stadium was donated as a training ground for the Greek refugees.
The plans for the new stadium changed and shaped over the past two decades, often being put on hold due to the scale of the proposals, the lack of investment, the infrastructure of the local area and the architectural tone of the neighbourhood, much of which was rebuild and repaired in the traditional architectural tone of the area, as it was before the earthquake.
Fans every year gathered on the old grounds, for ceremonies in honor of their club. You would see them putting a Christmas tree on the grounds that the old stadium once stood.
In 2017, after faithfully waiting for this to happen, the ground was once blessed again, in traditional style of priest incense and teargas. The AEK fans are not modest in the ways they show their devotion and support for their club.
The blessing of the AEK building works.
On a daily basis faithful observers gather and watch on as each kg of cement is poured.
The launch of the Agia Sophia stadium is expected in 18 months. The celebration will be unforgettable, to say the least!