After many years of waiting, supporters of one of the biggest football clubs in Greece, AEK, are witnessing the realization of their dream, a stadium.
On Friday the construction of the new state of the art stadium began at the site of the old stadium which had been previously demolished in Nea Philadelpia, western Athens.
The new stadium is planned to hold between 32-34,000 spectators, and works are scheduled to be completed by 2018.
The stadium’s name “Aghia Sophia” is a reference to the club’s roots in Constantinople.
AEK was established in 1924 as the club of Greek refugees that were evicted from their homes in Istanbul and Asia Minor after the Greece-Turkey war and the ‘Big Fire’ of Smyrna in 1922.
The club’s emblem is the double-headed eagle, used by the Palaiologos dynasty and traditionally by the Byzantine Empire, as a remembrance of the Byzantine legacy and the historical ties of the club.