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Manchester Airports Group proposes stadium for Sofia

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has proposed plans to build a new €600m (£528m/$669m) stadium in Sofia as part of its offer for a 35-year concession to operate the Bulgarian capital’s airport.

The Reuters news agency reported that MAG is facing competition from operators and investors based in Germany, France and Denmark in its bid to land the concession. MAG is working with Chinese construction firm BCEG on its bid.

Reuters said that a major new stadium will form part of MAG’s proposal, with the facility said to make Bulgaria more attractive as a potential host of the 2024 Youth Winter Olympics or the 2030 FIFA World Cup. A joint bid for the World Cup between Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Romania is already in the pipeline.

According to Reuters, Bulgaria is seeking €550m for the 35-year concession, which would include fees of €7.7m a year and a €280m upfront payment. A further €600m investment is also said to have been requested.

MAG’s stadium commitment would reportedly be made on top of the group’s €1.29bn offer for the airport concession.

“We are happy to be able to make this offer to the residents of Sofia as part of our bid for Sofia Airport,” MAG corporate development director Graeme Ferguson said.

Image: Pixabay