Ion Tiriac, former tennis and ice hockey player, inaugurated on Thursday, an ice skating rink worth 3.6 million euros built from his own funds, in three months in Otopeni, in a festivity that hosted numerous sports personalities.
The ice skating rink, the first one being built in the Ilfov-Bucharest area in the last 64 years, is the only one currently functioning, after “Mihai Flamaropol” arena was condemned and demolished.
Children from hockey clubs and figure skating clubs in the capital will be allowed to train for free on the Otopeni ice, Ion Tiriac ensuring also their transportation by bus. Hockey and figure skating courses will be also organised for children between 5 and 8 years within a dedicated school. Access to the wider audience will be granted starting with the first trimester of 2017.
The ice skating rink covers 4,863 square meters, has a 500-place capacity and 70 parking lots, the investment amounting to 3.6 million euros.
The businessman Ion Tiriac declared on Thursday that the arena is but “a small drop” for Romanian sports. “This ice skating rink is but a drop in the sea of the Romanian sports. It is not sophisticated. Three months ago there were potatoes and cabbage where the rink is lying, so it was an arable field. In less than three months we have built the rink and in less than three weeks we found the partners who will run it in the future. The annual costs of use, taking into consideration that we wanted all children to have free access, is not negligible. And these partners have come to our help,” he said, according to Agerpres.
Ion Tiriac received a hockey stick from the president of The Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee, Mihai Covaliu and a puck from the Canadian Ambassador to Bucharest, Kevin Hamilton.
After the ribbon-cutting, a demonstrative juniors game of hockey was held on the ice of the new rink, as well as some programs of children from figure skating clubs.
At the inauguration, numerous personalities were present, among whom Ilie Nastase, Mihai Covaliu, Elisabeta Lipa, George Boroi, Simona Halep, Horia Tecau, Marius Copil, Mariana Bitang, Octavian Bellu, Adrian Stoica, Cristian Gatu, Violeta Beclea Szekely, Monica Iagar, Sandra Izbasa, Andreea Raducan, Mihai Leu, Bogdan Stelea and Alina Dumitru.