Gigi Becali has been the perfect tenant since the National Arena existed, but he is being sent out of Bucharest right now, when FCSB has to play the derby with CFR Cluj. Becali’s team has been to the Arena 178 times and paid 4 million euros.
The National Arena has been operating at a loss since 2011, when it was inaugurated, and it would have caused even greater losses if it had not had Gigi Becali as a loyal tenant. The stadium’s main customer status is of no use to them now, Gigi has to move her team to Buzau for the match with CFR Clujfrom the last stage, a derby that could be decisive in the competition for the title.
FRF and Dinamo are small tenants
In the history of the Arena, it hosted 284 games, and in 178 hosted the FCSB. Becali has paid a little over four million euros in these 11 years to rent the stadium for his team’s matches. The costs incurred by the club for organizing those matches were higher than that, the amount of four million euros represents only the rent received by Bucharest City Hall, the owner of the building.
The first representative played 30 games on the National Arena, while Dinamo rented the stadium for 40 matches. The federation and the “dogs” did not contribute together with the amount paid by the FCSB to play on the Arena.
The situation in which Becali and his team find themselves is a paradoxical one: because Gigi rented the stadium so often, the mayor’s office was able to limit the losses, but the institution is firing the red-blues precisely because of budget holes.
The administration announced that Arena recorded losses of 14 million lei in 2021. The revenues were 11 million, the expenses amounted to 25 million.
How does the mayor’s office justify it? “It takes something other than football”
When analyzing the economic data of the stadium, representatives of the mayor’s office told Mediafax that they were inspired by a gaming event organized towards the end of last year:
“We want to diversify the events that take place on the National Arena. In addition to sports competitions, the stadium will host events similar to the Dota 2 The International 2021. In addition to international notoriety, that tournament brought in a budget of almost half a million euros.
A football team pays 23,000 euros to rent the Arena for a match, so it has no way to compete with gaming tournaments or concerts. FCSB must now disappear from the largest stadium because a concert, “Saga Festival”, will take place there from June 3 to 5, and the organizers have to stage the necessary stage and equipment in time.
How is it possible to play concerts and not be able to play football in a stadium that was built just for this sport? I’m not saying there shouldn’t be concerts and other events, but to do them during periods when there are no football matches there!
– Gigi Becali, FCSB patron
In place of Becali, I would sue everyone at CSA Steaua! It is not possible for FCSB to have to leave Bucharest because it cannot rent a stadium! This means that all the leaders of the Romanian institutions are crazy!
– Dumitru Dragomir, former president of LPF
Becali also negotiated the concert
Becali kept looking for a solution so as not to move his team to Buzau, but failed to solve anything. He said he called the organizer of the “Saga Festival”, to whom he offered to pay for hiring more people to work on arranging the concert set.
“The boy was polite, he told me that it is not possible to play the match with CFR there because he would not have enough time. In addition to arrangements, they also need time for rehearsals before the concert “, said Gigi. The concert will take place between June 3 and 5. FCSB-CFR will be on May 22, in the last stage of League 1.
Cluj has a two-point lead now and will play against Craiova until then, on its own field. FCSB will play away with FC Voluntari, on the National Arena. The people of Ilfov are working to restore their turf from their own stadium and managed to rent the Arena for one last game before the “Saga Festival”.
In total, the National Arena “melted” 15.8 million euros
The National Arena cost 234 million when it was built and continued to swallow a lot of money and after it was inaugurated in 2011. With the 14 million lei lost in 2021, approximately 2.8 million euros, the stadium generated a hole of 15.8 million euros in the city hall budget in ten years!
It is about the difference between the costs caused by the maintenance of the building and the revenues that the mayor’s office generated from renting the stadium. The loss in 2021, 2.8 million euros, was a small one compared to the financial results of other years.
In 2020, Bucharest City Hall had to pay 4.4 million euros to cover the hole created by the stadium. Arena has not been profitable in any year!
Banned on “Star” and “Arc de Triomphe”
The mayor’s office failed to cover, from renting the stadium, the costs generated by its operation, even though many football matches have taken place on the National Arena in these 11 years and several extra-football events have been organized there. But in Bucharest there are also new stadiums that can be used much less often.
“Steaua” and “Arcul de Triumf” are used only by CSA, the second league team, and by the Romanian Rugby Federation. Other clubs are not allowed to play in these arenas. Becali now tried to rent one of them and did not succeed even when he threatened the leadership of the Ministry of Defense with a complaint to DNA.
At the “Arc de Triomphe” there was also a women’s soccer match and a men’s youth match. The Romanian Football Federation was able to rent the arena for those games, the club teams do not have this possibility.
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