Panathinaikos FC: history and tradition driving investments in new stadium and future technology

‘The Clovers’ affirm their strategic choice to invest in optimal grass-growing conditions with the purchase of 5 LED units.

Panathiniaikos - pitch - LED440

When it comes to performance, Panathinaikos FC has a big reputation to uphold. The famous club from the Greek capital has a stellar track record in the Greek Super League. In Europe, the club also boasts an impressive history. In fact, they are the most successful Greek club in terms of achievements in European competitions, most famously reaching the final of the 1971 European Cup.

Furthermore, the club is featuring one of the oldest and most successful academies for young talent in Greece. Talented youngsters regularly break through at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium and earn their place in the national squad.

Setting and investing in high standards

Therefore, it is no surprise and safe to say that the club’s management has set high standards and expectations of their facilities, now and for the (foreseeable) future. In past years, Panathinaikos has been investing in the improvement of the grass-growing conditions of the pitch at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium and is currently developing a completely new stadium in Votanikos.

Joining Europe’s growing group of LED users

With the purchase of three new LED440’s and two LED50’s grass grow lighting units, the club is solidifying its effort to create optimal grass-growing conditions at Leoforos. Together with the previous units, the total now counts seven units, and the grounds team can now effectively illuminate a complete pitch.

They are the first club in Greece to use this technology and have joined a growing group of venues in Europe, together with Johan Cruyff ArenA, Allianz Arena and Friends Arena, among others.

The latest (LED) grass grow lighting technology

One of the main benefits of using LED technology is that the units can produce heat when necessary (with the help of infrared technology) to respond to sudden shifts in weather conditions. On the other hand, when temperatures are in line with (Greek) climate averages – the units can switch off their additional heat, focusing on the illumination of the pitch and thereby generating significant energy and budget savings. The light spectrum and light distribution are specifically optimised for grass growth in stadiums.

Connected to a precise data monitoring system, to aid in making decisions regarding grass care maintenance, the grounds team of Panathinaikos can now draw conclusions based on the latest turf data from the SmartBox 2.0 and additional TurfPod systems. These systems measure crucial turf data like soil moisture levels,  soil temperature and salinity. The grow lighting units are even operated from a distance with the help of remote control.

Last but not least, the lightweight alloy frame reduces the weight and damage to the pitch, speeding up grass recovery between matches and events.

Looking forward, into the future

The systems are intended for use at both the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium and the Olympic Stadium, meaning Panathinaikos has set itself up as flexible as possible for future high performances match play.