The construction of a new national stadium is a part of Manchester Airport Group’s (MAG) bid for the Sofia Airport concession, according to a statement released by the group this week.
The stadium is part of an additional investment of €600m (US$670m), independent of the main investment of nearly €1.5bn (US$1.65bn). The Vitosha Consortium [consisting of MAG and its partner Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG)]proposes the development of an airport city project for Sofia, Bulgaria – with a new national stadium (built to Category 4 UEFA standards) as a potential showcase venue, supported by commercial, retail, leisure and logistics facilities to create a complementary business and leisure zone for Sofia.
The new stadium development will be multi-functional, catering for national sports teams, world athletics events, music concerts and festivals among other events. It could open in time to host the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics.
The stadium is part of a bigger project – the innovative Airport City Sofia, also included in the bid for the concession. It follows a very similar development that the two companies built together next to the UK’s Manchester Airport, called Airport City Manchester.
Graeme Ferguson, director corporate development, MAG, said, “We are happy that we can make such a proposition to the citizens of Sofia, as part of our concession bid. A new stadium, with an iconic design, will be used for world championships as well as by local people for everyday sports activities.
“Our project for Airport City Sofia will fill the gap in the market that currently exists for a high quality and well-connected environment for businesses that need access to Bulgaria, to the Balkans and to a global marketplace through an international airport.”
MAG and BCEG believe that Airport City Sofia would be the perfect location for a new national stadium, ready for Bulgaria’s 2030 World Cup bid with Greece, Romania and Serbia. The airport has the necessary infrastructure and connectivity though the metro and road networks and the airport itself to support such a development.