he 2004 Athens tournament was the perfect opportunity for the International Volleyball Federation to renew some technical and aesthetic aspects of the playing fields; and Mondo was up to the challenge.
Designed by architects "Thymios Papagiannis and associates (TPA)", the Peace and Friendship Stadium was inaugurated in 1985 by the Greek Prime Minister, Andreas Papandreou, at the European Track and Field Championships Opening Ceremonies. . This multi-use indoor sports arena is located in Faliro, Piraeus. It is the central venue of the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex and is mostly known for being the long-time home court of the famous Euroleague basketball club Olympiacos Piraeus. The facility is distinguished by its roof hawk who has made a point of reference along the promenade that runs along the beach in Faliro. It is oval-shaped, 87 meters long and 43 meters wide, it can accommodate up to 16,000 spectators. The arena is known widely as "SEF", which are the initials of its name in Greek (Stadio Erinis & Filias). In addition to basketball, its multi-purpose main arena is also able to host athletics, gymnastics, volleyball, handball, ice skating, concerts, conventions and exhibitions. In 1991 the stadium received the Golden Award by IAKS, International Working Group for the Construction of Sports and Leisure Facilities.
The Peace and Friendship Stadium needed to be renovated prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics and renovations for the Olympics commenced in April 2002, and were completed on June 30, 2004. The new upgraded and remodeled stadium was officially re-opened on August 11, 2004, shortly before the opening of the Olympic Games. Remodeling was done by an engineering firm in Athens known as Fasma ltd owned by some of the original design team of 1983.. After the renovations were completed, the arena's seating capacity was reduced from the original 17,000 seats to 12,171 seats for the Olympics. This was due to numerous new features and upgrades being added to the arena. During the 2004 Games, it has hosted all the matches of the volleyball tournament. The floor of the Peace and Friendship Stadium, provided by Mondo for the Games has been an evolution from the past. "The International Federation of Volleyball had explicitly asked for a change - recalls Andrea Vallauri, Head of Mondo Sport Division -. Until then, the synthetic floors were installed on concrete; the Federations intention was to create more comfort using improved biomechanical characteristics. To achieve this it was decided to produce a flexible substrate, a protection of wood with a special foam cushioning placed below, so we created a wooden floor which was then placed on the synthetic layer Mondoflex Performance." Another innovation was introduced at the Olympic volleyball tournament: two new colors, blue and pink, we selected by the international federation. These colors replaced the traditional green and orange. These two new colors were introduced during Athens 2004 and are still being used today.
All the 2004 Olympic Games volleyball competitions were held at the Peace and Friendship Stadium. The men's gold medal was won by Brazil, who beat Italy in the finals, and the bronze medal was won by Russia. In the women's competitions, China won the gold medal, Russia the silver and Cuba the bronze.
Capacity: 11,390 (basketball), 10,520 (gymnastics), 14,000 (concerts and congresses)
Year built: 1985
Cost: 25 millions (euro value in 1983)
Area: 288,352 sq. m.