The contests, associated with the ritual and ceremonial of the cult of Asklepios, were held in the Stadium, which was appropriately formed in a natural hollow on the site of the Asklepieion.
The track was rectangular and the course for competitors in the foot race was divided into six equal lanes, 181.30 m. in length. There was a special pit for the long jump, and a ring for wrestling and boxing events. Along the two long sides of the Stadium were seats for the spectators. In the initial form (5th c. BC) these were humble stepped constructions of fieldstones and clay, while in the full formation of the monument (4th-3rd c. BC) stone benches were installed in part of the Stadium.
Impressive is the vaulted tunnel through which athletes and officials entered the track, which was connected also to the palaestra, where athletes exercised and trained.
The hippodrome, where equestrian events-chariot races were held, was located a short distance to the southwest of the sanctuary of Asklepios, with which it was linked by a wide road, to facilitate access for wheeled vehicles.
The large capacity of the Stadium is indicative of the number of spectators who gathered there on the occasion of the “Asklepieia”. This major festival was organized every four years in honour of the god Asklepios and included athletic games, singing and drama contests. In Roman times, from the first century AD, the Caesareia and the Sebasteia (Augustea), games in honour of the Roman emperors, were held. The cost of these must have been enormous, as by that time athletes were professionals. There were occasions when all or part of the expenses was covered by wealthy citizens.
After the rehabilitation of the vaulted passage and the seats on the north side of the Stadium, the restored monument is now open to visitors.