Bulgaria PM Postpones Plans to Build National Stadium
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has rejected earlier plans to build a new national stadium, saying that it is not the right time.
In an interview for private TV station TV7, Borisov was adamant that Bulgaria needed no new stadium given that football matches were attended by 80 to 100 fans.
He said that it would make no sense to spend 40-50 or even 100 million leva on a stadium that would stay empty, citing the new national stadium in Bucharest as a negative example.
Borisov insisted that the Arena Armeetz multifunctional sports hall in Sofia was a different case.
Bulgaria's Prime Minister said that Arena Armeetz hosted a number of races and concerts and managed to attract a substantial audience.
Sofia's Arena Armeetz, which seats up to 12 000 visitors for sports events and up to 18 000 visitors for concerts was inaugurated in end-July 2011.
Borisov told TV7 that a number of sports halls in cities like Plovdiv, Ruse, Botevgrad, Ruse, and Yambol were being built or repaired.
One year ago, Sports Minister Svilen Neykov announced that Bulgaria's new national stadium would be built in Sofia's Vrazhdebna residential district.
In May 2011, Finance Minister Simeon Djankov said that the government was ready to spend BGN 140 M on a new national stadium or on the repair of the existing one, without specifying where the money would come from.
The idea for the construction of a new national stadium was first brought up in the autumn of 2009, when Neykov said that the government planned to start the construction of a new national stadium that would meet international standards for hosting football matches after the completion of the sports arena.
Borisov further explained that he had failed to attract Gazprom as a sponsor of football club CSKA Sofia because the Russian gas giant insisted on backing teams wearing blue as its corporate color.
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