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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Pafiako Stadium is located in the Cypriot holiday resort town of Paphos, and is home to its local soccer team AEP. The 2013-2014 season also sees the venue hosting the home games of AEK Kouklion, as their own stadium is not to specification for this level of football. Pafiako is a multi-purpose stadium opened in 1985 and has a capacity of 9,394. The stadium is a bowl-type construction complete with floodlights and its main facilities are incorporated into the main stand. This area provides the venue’s only covered seating and shade from the sun. On the opposite side there are blocks of seats running the length of the pitch whilst both ends of the stadium are grass-banked and tree-lined.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Inside the main stand there was just one small kiosk selling sandwiches, crisps, chocolate and nuts in addition to hot and cold drinks. Better options are available outside where there are a few mobile food vans selling Kebabs and fries for about 4 Euros.
As with most multi-purpose stadiums, the atmosphere for football games is lost due to the pitch being surrounded by a running track. This is made worse when crowds are sparse and the atmosphere for the AEK Kouklion game that I attended was dull. The 800 travelling Omonia Nicosia supporters did their best to generate some noise.
Paphos is one of the main holiday resorts within Cyprus and offers the visitor plenty to see and do in addition to topping up your tan on the sandy beaches. Steeped in ancient mythology, the Old Town has quaint little shops and plenty of restaurants and bars. The Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills Golf and Spa Resort is located a fifteen minute drive away and offers excellent hotel and dining facilities. Opposite the stadium there is a McDonald's fast food restaurant and Debenhams shopping store.
Outside of the Nicosia and Limasol clubs, attendances are low. The match I attended had a crowd of 923 but the majority of these were travelling supporters. Local rivals will attract slightly larger attendances.
The stadium is located at the entry to the City from the end of the A1 motorway and is also easily reached by bus from the centre. The stadium has a small car park but plenty of street parking is also available. The nearest airport is Paphos International which is a ten minute drive away.
Tickets cost 17 Euro for adults with reductions for children. This is too expensive for the quality of football and level of facilities on offer.
What extras? Only the sun if you attend an afternoon game.
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