The Ephesus Stadium was located to the south of the Vedius Gymnasium. The spectators' seats on the south was resting on the slopes of the Mount Pion (Panayir dag). The seats on the northern section were placed on the heightened vaulted galleries. There was a monumental entrance gate to the Stadium on the west. Its last shape was mainly given and enlarged during the Roman Emperor Neron's reign in the 1st century A.D. As all Roman stadiums from the classical era, it was planned in a U-shape then.
It was first built in the Hellenistic Age. It was purely used for ceremonies and sports activities. But during the 3rd and 4th centuries other than the sports activities and ceremonies, gladiator and wild animal fights became very popular especially in Roman Period. It is known that certain families, such as the Vedius, owned gladiator schools. Also Christians were persecuted here and were thrown to the lions. So when Christianity became the official religion of Romans in 413 AD. they destroyed it and built the Persecution Gate also as a symbol of these sufferings.