Arena Sofia (Bulgarian: Арена София, [ɐˈrɛnə ˈsɔfijə]) is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Sofia, Bulgaria. Opened in July 2011, it has a seating capacity of 12,373.[1] It was formerly called Arena Armeets after the Bulgarian insurance company Armeets purchased the naming rights, until the sponsorship was terminated in October 2022.[2]

Arena Sofia
Арена София
Full nameArena Sofia
Former namesArena Armeets Sofia (2011–2022)
Address1 Asen Yordanov Blvd
LocationSofia, Bulgaria
Coordinates42°40′16″N 23°22′9″E / 42.67111°N 23.36917°E / 42.67111; 23.36917
OwnerNational Sport Base PLC
CapacityBoxing: 15,545
Tennis, wrestling: 13,545
Basketball, volleyball: 15,373
Concerts: 17,906
Broke ground2 July 2009
Opened30 July 2011 (2011-07-30)
Construction costBGN 90 million
EUR € 47 million
ArchitectZheko Tilev
Main contractorsGlavbolgarstroy
Bulgaria men's national volleyball team (CEV) (2011–present)
Sofia Open (ATP 250)
Venue Website

Designed as a universal hall for cultural events and sports, the arena could host up to 30 types of sports, including basketball, volleyball, handball, futsal, boxing, tennis, weightlifting, fencing and gymnastics competitions, as well as concerts with a maximum capacity of 17,906. There are 887 parking lots, 614 of them placed in a central exterior parking, 231 placed in near streets and 42 designated for disabled people.

Major events and notable firsts edit

Arena hosting the 2018 Sofia Open

The first major concert in the arena was held by Jean Michel Jarre, followed by artists Sade and Amorphis.

The arena has hosted the 2012 European Taekwon-do ITF championship in May, followed by the 2012 Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships in the first three days of June. The city was previously awarded the 2004 edition of the event.[3]

During three days in February 2012 the arena hosted the Cirque du Soleil show Saltimbanco for the first time in Bulgaria.[4] Between 9 and 11 November 2012 it also hosted the travelling ice show Disney on Ice, another debut for the country.[5]

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 was held in the arena on 21 November 2015, the first time a Eurovision event was held in Bulgaria.[6]

The arena recorded its first sold-out game on 9 June 2012, when 12,501 fans (128 more than the official capacity) came to see the Olympic qualification volleyball match between France and Bulgaria. It will be used for the 2020 FIBA Under-17 Basketball World Cup.

Bulgaria's ruling GERB party is a consistent user of the arena, having held its rallies and conferences within it for years. This trend was bucked during late 2019 Bulgarian local elections, as the party wanted to undertake a "humble" campaign.[7]

List of major concerts edit

List of major sporting events edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Technical details". Archived from the original on 2016-09-20. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
  2. ^ "Най-голямата зала в България остана без спонсор". СЕГА (in Bulgarian). 2022-10-06. Retrieved 2022-10-06.
  3. ^ "2012 Sofia AER World Championships : Homepage". Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  4. ^ [1] Archived January 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Дисни на лед - Събитие - Арена Армеец София". Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  6. ^ "Junior Eurovision 2015: 21 November in Sofia, Bulgaria". 30 March 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  7. ^ "За първи път: Без зала "Арена Армеец" в кампанията на ГЕРБ". Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  8. ^ [2] Archived July 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Дженифър Лопес - Събитие - Арена Армеец София". Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  10. ^ "Горан Брегович - Събитие - Арена Армеец София". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  11. ^ "ENNIO MORRICONE – THE BEST MOVIE MUSIC COMPOSER OF THE 20TH CENTURY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN BULGARIA (". Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2013-10-18.

External links edit

Preceded by FIVB Volleyball World League
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Malta Shipbuilding
Marsa, Malta
Junior Eurovision Song Contest

Succeeded by