Storied Spanish club Real Madrid is taking its show on the road. The La Liga leader plans to open a "Disney-styled" theme park on a posh resort island in United Arab Emirates, according to selectproperty.com.
The idea of the "Real Madrid Resort Island" is the brainchild of club president and construction magnate Florentino Perez. He wants to build a club shrine that will attract fans from around the world, and chose one of the priciest destinations in the world to do so. The club is expected to unveil plans for the theme park on Thursday.
"Many believe that the park's suggested name indicates it will be located on emirate's famous man-made island, The Al Marjan Island, which has been created exclusively to become one of the most prominent tourism hotspots in the region; something a theme park of this scale would significantly boost," the selectproperty report says.
Top soccer clubs from around the world are always looking to extend their reach beyond their own borders. Most play preseason friendlies and tour countries around the world to win over new fans.
Real Madrid's resort is one of the boldest moves in that direction. It has a reported price tag of £135 million ($213.6 million). If the project fails, it could strain the club's finances. Real may look to sell off some of its crown jewels — namely Cristiano Ronaldo — in that event.
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