PAOK SPORTS ARENA opened its gates on April 1st, 2000, to host the 6th final four of the Greek Cup. The first official game in the arena's history was the first semifinal of the final four, where AEK faced Marousi. AEK went through to the final, and eventually left as the Cup winning team. Anatoli Zurbenko was the first player to score in this gym. After 47 days and eight official games in the books, PAOK played for the first time in an official game in this gym. It was the 17th of May, 2000, and in an amazing game with the whole gym packed, PAOK faced -for the second game of the league finals- Panathinaikos, to whom the team eventually lost the championship.
Two days before the first official game, on March 30, 2000, the arena's sanctification took place as well as the team's first practice in this arena. Four Greek Cup games ensued, along with another four games for Euroleague's final four, where Panathinaikos defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv and won the title. PAOK SPORTS ARENA can host more than 8000 people (8,142 to be exact), while there are also 502 private parking spots and space specifically designed for busses.
The first official game took place on April 1st 2000, but it took ten years for the whole project to be completed following when the first foundation was put in place (March 18, 1990) and twelve years from the historic donation of the late Ioannis Dedeoglou (June 17, 1988). PAOK's great benefactor Ioannis Dedeoglou, along with his brother Thanassis who gave PAOK a new site in 1991, helped build one of Europe's best arenas. After capturing the European Champions Cup in 1991, a larger than life dream occured. The road towards its achievement was long and tough. On December 11, 1991, and after the project's auctioning took place, it became known that the arena would have 4,800 permanent seats and 1,200 foldable ones. After the first study of the area concluded with a 6,000 seat arena in mind, many disagreements would later take place, but the true problem will occur from the various expropriations that will take place in the area. On September 7 1995, the sanctification of the arena's foundation takes place, but plans are stalled, as a request for a larger capacity arena is put in. On October 30 1996, the project's premeditation is approved, one that has the arena's capacity expanding to 8,500 seats. Euroleague's proposal of the Final Four taking place in PAOK's new arena put pressure on the people in charge, as the big project must now be finished on time. On May 17 1999, FIBA announces that the Final Four will indeed take place in PAOK's arena, thus accelerating the whole process. The result is great. The gym is ready to host Euroleague Final Four (April 18 & 20). The gym also hosts the Greek Cup Final Four (April 1 & 2). On May 17 2000, PAOK's first official game in the new arena takes place, and all the tickets for the game against Panathinaikos are sold out, along with the collectible T-Shirts. Everyone wants to see the new arena, an arena that's now the home of the team and an irreplaceable part of its modern history.