June 6 – Big players do big things. While Ronaldo was scoring two goals to win the Champions League final in Cardiff, Wales, with Real Madrid, Lionel Messi was in Beijing launching a football theme park that will bear his name in Naijing, China.
The Messi Experience Park is a collaboration between Chinese broadcaster Phoenix Group and Spanish media company Mediapro, and is scheduled to open in 2019.
The park will feature more than 20 attractions in a 150,000 sq ft indoor facility. Outdoors there will be 40,000 sq ft of playing fields and 82,000 sq ft of public space. The attractions will use virtual reality and artificial intelligence technologies to offer experiences related to football, as well as extensive information about the career of five-time world player of the year.
The park will “immerse visitors in Messi’s universe, combining the latest attractions with spaces to take part in the top sport”, said a Mediapro press release.
Mediapro, better known for its sports rights sales, has experience in helping develop consumer attractions helped develop the Fútbol Club Barcelona Museum, the Real Madrid Museum, the Ferrari Land Gallery (Port Aventura), the AC Milan Museum and the Brazilian Confederation of Football Museum.
Publicly traded, Phoenix Group, currently airs their six channels in more than 180 countries and regions, and is a primary source of Chinese media for ex-pats living abroad. It’s content focuses on sports and culture.
At the launch Messi said: “I am grateful that they thought of me. I am surprised at the incredible scope of the project. I hope that the Chinese people really enjoy it.”
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