The 2004 Athens Olympic basketball tournament was held in two different arenas, which was a first. Just like it was a first for Argentina’s men national team to win the gold medal. The baskets provided by Mondo were also an innovation during this event.
The 2004 Athens Olympic basketball tournament was a novelty in the Olympic history, as or the first time, the games were played in two different facilities. The eliminating rounds were -held entirely in the Helliniko Indoor Arena, while the finals were held in the Olympic Indoor Hall, part of the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens. The men's tournament was played during one of the most exciting Olympics that, among other things, witnessed Argentina’s amazing triumph,. Theybeat the favorites, the United States, in the semifinals and Italy (84-69) in the finals. It was the first success in the Games for South American team, which until then had not won any Olympic medals. Among women the odds have been met with the United States victory (the fifth of seven gold winnings). that beat Australia in the finals (74-63).
The Helliniko Olympic Indoor Arena is a multi-use sports indoor arena that is located in Ellinikon, Athens, Greece. It is approximately 10 miles from the Athens Olympic Village. It was built on the site of the former Ellinikon International Airport, closed in 2001.It was the old Athens Airport aircraft repair hangar of the Olympic Airways airline that was converted into a basketball arena. The metal frame of the arena is the only part of the structure that remains from the original building. This was done to save in costs for both land and construction.The facility, which was built by Michaniki and EllisDon Construction Corporation, officially opened on July 30, 2004. It was built to be one of the most NBA-like arenas in Europe at the time, especially for its large capacity and with its stands starting just off the basketball court. During the 2004 Olympic Games, the Helliniko Indoor Arena hosted the baskbetball preliminary matches and the handball finals. During the 2004 Summer Paralympics, it was also the venue used for wheelchair rugby.. The capacity of the new Helliniko Arena will be reduced to approximately 8,000 after the Olympics, as most of the upper tier seating rows are temporary and are scheduled to be removed. In addition to supplying the Fast Break flooring system, an old version of the Fast Break System 2 Wood, Mondo introduced its new line of baskets, the Athen Serie, during the 2004 Athens Olympic basketball tournament. "Compared to older models that had an arm to keep the scoreboard ticking, the these new baskets are presented with a unique tubular type structure, a solution that has greatly improved the viewers’ visibility, "said Andrea Vallauri, Head of Mondo Sports Division. The old airport also hosts many other Olympic venues, namely those of baseball, softball, hockey, as well as the canoe-kayak slalom center.
The Indoor Hall which is part of the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens (OAKA). Completed in 1995, the arena features a unique roof, based only on four huge pillars (each being 35m tall and the two pairs 108m apart). The roof is also built in such a way as to provide abundant natural sunlight all day long. The Indoor Hall, the largest indoor facility used during the 2004 Athens Olympics, is considered one of the world's largest indoor arenas with a capacity that varies depending on the events hosted and reached a 19,250 attendance for the most important basketball matches. During the 2004 Olympic Games, the Indoor Hall hosted the gymnastic competitions and the basketball tournament finals.. During the months prior to the Games, the structure has undergone some renovations that were completed by June 2004. The new arena opened on August 10, 2004, just three days before the Olympics. The refurbushing was mainly for the electromechanical installations and has cost around EUR 5 million in total. The Indoor Hall is the arena where the Panathinaikos basketball team played their home games. It’s also where, in 2007, they hosted and won the Euroleague Final Four.
Helliniko Indoor Arena
Capacity: 15,000 (basketball), 13.500 (handball)
Opening Date: July 30, 2004
Total Cost: EUR 49 million
Olympic Indoor Hall
Capacity: 18,700 (basketball), 16,700 (gymnastics)
Year built: 1995
Cost of renovation: EUR 5 million