Businessman Ion Tiriac has accused on Friday, during a press conference, the National Bank of Romania (BNR) of illegally taking over the ‘BNR Arenas’ for tennis, which hosted until 2015 the BRD NastaseTiriac Trophy, now moved to Budapest.
“It is unbelievable, to have a unique event in Romania (the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy), broadcast in 110 countries and for Romania to collect EUR 25-20 million every year from advertising – to let it go away to another country because after 70 years you don’t have a tennis arena… the one you had was stolen. Maybe not stolen, but if the owner has the rights, to have the rights. BNR could not take it over, there was a law saying that any sports base is to be used only for sport, and any construction would be only for sport. That sport base was for the people. The BNR took over the complex illegally in 1991, in my opinion. The tennis complex had always been for sport. Ceasusescu built it in 7 days for the Davis Cup final. I told them (BNR – our note) we want to build the stands. They said NO, it’s our property. For me any relationship with these people is over. I don’t know about legality, but I will find out,” Tiriac said.
He added that there were attempts from the government to swap the sports complex with BNR for another site. It didn’t work out.
Ion Tiriac, owner of the BDR Nastase Tiriac Trophy has ceded the tournament to Budapest for two years due to the fact that BNR Arenas do not comply with the ATP demands. The central court is closed. In 2016, the last edition of the Bucharest tournament, the central court could not be used because it lacks the go-ahead from the Emergency Situations Inspectorate (ISU).