The crude construction of Bulgaria's first National Sports Arena has been completed ahead of schedule by the state company Glavbolgarstroy.
The construction of the 12 410-seat arena, which will be opened on June 24, 2011, has cost BGN 108 M, or BGN 22 M less than the initially announced price.
The annual operation costs of the sports facility will be about BGN 2.5 M, according to a report of Mediapool, which points out that the project has been a controversial one because of the special attention allocated to it by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the criticism by leftist and rightist opposition that it is too costly in a time of economic crisis.
The National Sports Arena located by the Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd in Sofia has an all-out built-up area of 16 000 square meters; it has five levels, one of them underground, and an underground parking with 984 spots.
The underground level features dressing rooms, a training area, a fitness center, a spa center, a restaurant, and a press conference hall.
The owner of the arena, National Sports Base EAD, has not selected a name and a logo yet, and has not started tenders for a general sponsor, whose name will be given to the main sports hall, and for advertisers and renters of the commercial space.
The smaller training area, which is already in operation, is fully booked every day. The sports arena itself has already had bookings for several large sports competitions and concerts. The first big event will be on August 20, 2011, a rhythmic gymnastics world cup with 24 teams from around the world.
30 international teams will take part in the World Cup for acrobatic rock & roll on September 17, an event expected to fill up the arena.
Two big concerts are scheduled for the end of 2011 even though the exact performers are known yet. An archery world cup has booked the arena for a date in 2012, and a judo world cup – for a date in 2013.