Representatives from Spanish football club Real Madrid Club de Fútbol and Chinese group Lai Sun Group announced on September 11 their joint project to launch a Real Madrid Interactive Football Experience Centre in Hengqin, the company revealed.
The ceremony was held at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium with the presence of football club’s Director of of Institutional Relations, Emilio Butragueño, and the Head of Novotown Project of Lai Sun Group, John Tse.
The indoor interactive football experience centre will occupy 12,000 square meters at the Phase II of Novotown, the groups’ integrated tourism and entertainment project in the heart of Hengqin.
The centre will include multiple interactive football related experiences, such as augmented and virtual reality attractions, together with a Real Madrid museum, food and beverage outlets and concept retail concessions.
“We are extremely delighted to partner with Real Madrid, who with their expertise in football training, will be able to bring about highly participative and personalized sports entertainment experiences, supported by advance technology […] The interactive football centre is instrumental to develop the culture of sports entertainment, and establish a diversified range of industries to promote the region’s tourism economy,” Mr. Tse said in the event.
Kicking in the name of Real Madrid
In July two companies belonging to the Lai Sun Group – Lai Fung Holdings Limited and eSun Holdings Limited – jointly announced that Lai Fung reached a licence agreement through a wholly owned subsidiary with Real Madrid for developing the football centre.
The agreement states Real Madrid will license its intellectual property rights to Lai Fung or its subsidiary in return for payments – largely in the form of royalties for 10 years after the centre is launched – with an option to extend it for a further 10 years.
Currently Lai Fung is negotiating with the Hengqin Government regarding the land concession as well as the progress of the Phase II development of Novotown.
The Lai Sun Group is composed of five Hong Kong listed companies, with businesses ranging across property development and investment, hospitality, media and entertainment in Hong Kong, mainland China and overseas.
Right next door
Described as an integrated tourism and entertainment project, Novotown will occupy a total gross floor area of approximately 15.5 million square feet in the centre of Hengqin, with 80 per cent of the project owned by Lai Sun Group and 20 per cent by the group’s investment holding eSun.
The project’s Phase 1 was approved in 2015 and its completion is expected by 2018, with the project to include a Hyatt Regency Hotel, integrated experience centers such as Lionsgate Entertainment World and National Geographic Ultimate Explorer, together with a Healthcare and Beauty Cultural Center, a multi-purpose performance hall and a wedding ceremony venue.
The group expects the project will attract 5 million visitors in the first year of operation.