ZAGREB/SOFIA, October 8, 2015
Bulgarian Sports Minister Krasen Kralev and the chairman of the the Bulgarian Tennis Federation Stefan Tsvetkov announced on Tuesday that Sofia will host its first ever tournament from the ATP World Tour 250 series next year. The contract for the event will last until 2018 with an option for its extension for another two years.
The general sponsor of the tournament will be the Turkish company Garanti Koza and will bear the name of Garanti Koza Sofia Open. Garanti Koza sponsored the WTA Tournament of Champions which took place in the Bulgarian capital between 2012 and 2014. The prize money will amount to € 450,000, while the total budget will be BGN 2.8 million with the Sports Ministry providing BGN 500,000. The Arena Armeec, the country’s leading multifunctional sports hall completed in 2011 and with a capacity of about 12,000 seats, will host the event.
The tournament in Sofia will replace the one in Zagreb as the Croatian organisers are having financial difficulties and failed to secure sponsors for 2016. The PBZ Zagreb Indoors took place from 2006 to 2015. This year’s champion became Guillermo García-López, who beat Andreas Seppi in the final in straight sets to lift his fourth career trophy on the ATP World Tour.
The (ex-) tournament stated on its homepage:
“We want to thank you all, our friends, family and many professionals and volunteers who worked with dedication for the past 10 years creating a magical atmosphere of ATP tournament in Zagreb with us.
We put a lot of effort but unfortunately it was not enough. In year 2016 the tournament will be held in Bulgarian capital – Sofia. We look forward to new projects because behind every cloud, there is a big sun smiling!”
The tournament in Sofia is going to take place from February 1 to 7, the same week as the events in Montpellier and Quito. The ATP also approved the relocation of its only tournament on African soil in Morocco, from Casablanca to Marrakech, taking place from 4 April to 11 April 2016. In April 2015, Marrakech hosted a WTA International event.