The Spyros Louis Athens Olympic Sports Center (AOSC, known as OAKA) was named after Spyros Louis, who was an inhabitant of Amaroussion and the winner of the Athens 1896 Olympic Games Marathon event. Many a decade later, a team that would bestow honor upon Greece and Greek sports with its multiple accomplishments not just within the narrow boundaries of the country but also abroad, would find in OAKA, the “home” of Spyros Louis, a “home” of its own. Panathinaikos has already written and will continue to write golden pages in its history book inside the OAKA indoors arena.
The natural home arena of Panathinaikos is none other than the Alexandra Avenue “Apostolos Nikolaidis” indoors arena (known to Greeks as “Leoforos – meaning avenue – or “Hindu Tomb”, as many remember it, due to the long staircase one had to descend in order to reach the court, as well as the fact that the ceiling was really low and the arena truly narrow as a tomb would be). However, when the requirements for the European competitions increased by FIBA, and when the club itself revised its own demands, then it began seeking a home arena that could indeed accommodate its needs. In the 1991-92 season, the “clover” sought a solution in the “Peace and Friendship Stadium” and ultimately moved its home arena to the Glyfada indoors gym. But this arena was not worthy of what appeared to be forming under the command of the Giannakopoulos’ brothers administration.
The year that the OAKA entered Panathinaikos’ life and vice versa was 1995. It was the year that the indoor arena with a capacity of 18.300 seats was inaugurated for the Eurobasket competition and the FIBA Europe Under-18 World Championship, with the Greek U18 National Team winning the gold medal in an arena that was filled to capacity. Then it was Panathinaikos’ turn; that summer the club had brought to Dominique Wilkins to our country and the arena was almost full during even the practice sessions, while in the years to come it would overflow with fans many times over and experience truly great moments. The only exception is the two-year period 2003-2005, when the “Greens” had to leave the OAKA and relocate to the Sporting BC indoor arena at Patissia, since all large arenas were being remodeled and renovated for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
In OAKA Panathinaikos has celebrated 8 HEBA Championships (1998, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011), 1 Greek Cup (2007), 1 Transcontinental Cup (1996), and the celebrations were culminated when PAO won the Euroleague championship in 2007 beating CSKA Moscow in the final. CSKA faced the “clover” in the OAKA home arena during another milestone moment for the 6-time European champions and OAKA: that was the exhibition game bidding Fraghiskos Alvertis farewell as active player and withdrawing his jersey, the jersey with No4 at the back. What is certain though is that both Panathinaikos and OAKA will live together more days of glory in the future…
MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION ABOUT OAKA
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“SPYROS LOUIS” Athens Olympic Sports Center
37 Kifissias Ave., 151 23 Maroussi, Athens
The OAKA indoor arena is accessible by the following transportation modes:
By electric railways (nearest stop: Irini)
By the suburban railway line (nearest stop: Neratziotissa)
By private vehicle, only in the case of season ticket card holders and your card class offers you parking spot privilege.
In the OAKA indoor arena you may find:
- Ticketing booths. For more information regarding the working days and opening hours please click here.
- PAO SHOP, the official team merchandizing stores (PAO SHOP are open during game days and hour). www.paoshop.gr
- Canteen stands for food and beverages (the canteens are open throughout game days and hours)