Demirchian Sports Complex Privatized Again

The Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex, also known as "Hamalir" (Source: Photolure)
The Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex, also known as "Hamalir" (Source: Photolure)

The Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex, also known as “Hamalir” (Source: Photolure)

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia’s largest sports and concert arena located in Yerevan will be sold to a private company for $30 million, just one year after being controversially re-nationalized by the government, according to reports.

The Armenian government said on Thursday that it will sign a takeover agreement with NTAA Investment Group within a month’s time. NTAA Investment Group was just registered in Armenia last month. According to Armenian Press, well-known individuals are not among its official owners.

The deal was approved by Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan’s cabinet after being presented by Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian, whose ministry has managed the Karen Demirchian Sport and Cultural Complex since August 2014.

Ohanian said that the new owner has pledged to turn the facility into a big entertainment center that will not only host concert halls, but also a new hotel, water park, shopes, and a casino. Ohanian said it will invest at least $100 million and create 250 new jobs for the construction of the additions to the arena over the next four years.

The Yerevan arena, more commonly known as “Hamalir,” was built in 1983, and became one of the most modern Soviet facilities of its kind. It was named after Karen Demirchian, a late Soviet Armenian leader who was instrumental in its expensive construction.

The complex, consisting of two large halls, was sold in 2005 to the Moscow-based construction firm BAMO, which is owned by a Russian-Armenian businessman Murad Muradian. The company paid $5.5 million and pledged to spend over $40 million on its renovation.

In 2010, President Serzh Sarkisian appointed Muradian as Armenia’s ambassador to Iraq. Muradian was fired in June 2014 amid judicial proceedings launched against his company due to its failure to repay a $25 million government loan.

The government re-nationalized Hamalir in August 2014 after failing to auction it off. BAMO denounced the move as illegal and challenged it in Armenian courts. Armenian courts rejected the lawsuits in the following months, leading BAMO to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

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4 Comments

  1. Alec said:

    A casino? A water park? shoppes? Who is the moron who purchased it, Sashik Sargsyan?

  2. vartan said:

    IS ANYTHING LEFT FOR SALE IN ARMENIA? YOU SUPPOSEDLY DEFENDER OF PEOPLE AND COUNTRY, YOU CAN EVEN MANAGE A BUILDING . WHO ARE ARMENIANS ” HAYASTANSI” IS EVERYTHING FOR SALE IN ARMENIA ? YOU CAN NOT OR MANAGE A RAILWAY . NO FACTORY , NO NIRIT , CONIAC, NO AIRLINE NO ELECTRICAL PLANT ,NO POST OFFICE, WHY DONT YOU SALE GENOCIDE MONUMET , IT IS LOCATED ON SAME PROPERTY . VERY CLOSE TO HAMALIR. IS THERE ANY ARMENIAN LEFT INTHAT COUNTRY WHO CARES ABOUT ARMENA. WHY DONT YOU SALE EVERYTHING AND GET HELL OUT OF THERE.

  3. Lisa said:

    OKAY everyone, guess what I KNOW this guy, because i know his girlfriend. This guy is a crook and is FOOLING everyone. I feel so sorry for Armenians. Dino STOLE so much money from Armenian and non Armenian investors and when he got caught, he BAILED out and RAN to Armenia. Let me tell you about his character and his girlfriends character. DINO AWADISIAN was married and had an affair with JULIE MOURADYAN aka (KUZIKYAN). She came here ILLEGALLY with a fake passport with her MOTHER NARA OHANYAN (Amalya Ohanova), (Glendale,CA). NARA OHANYAN and her son VARDAN KUZIKYAN (VARDAN DAV= (facebook name) who lives and works in ARMENIA helped him RUN away and introduced him to ARMENIAN GOVERNMENT official who took bribes and gave him a business deal with the STOLEN money from innocent people. So him and his girlfriend and her family helped him with the CRIME and are CASHING in and having fun. You should see the fancy trips and expensive cars and bags they carry, sitting at home and not working and having fun with his 3 children.’’

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