By Nnamdi Odumody
FC Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi is worth about $400million. He earns about $84 million annually in salary and other bonuses from FC Barcelona. He owns a four star hotel in Barcelona, Catalunya, real estate and has a lifetime contract with Adidas which will earn him $12 million per annum and other endorsement deals bringing $27million annually with Gatorade, Pepsi, Chinese social network Weibo, Huawei and Israeli technology company Sirin Labs which produced the first blockchain smartphone.
Leveraging on his fan base in China, a collaboration among MediaPro, Leo Messi Management and Phoenix Group has resulted in the development of a theme park- Messi Experience Park in Nanjing, China which will be opened in 2020.
The developers of what they claim will be the world’s biggest soccer-themed park have given a glimpse of the planned attraction based in eastern China around legendary player Lionel Messi.
The €170 million (US$200 million) project – called the Messi Experience Park – is being developed by Spanish firm Mediapro Exhibitions and Messi’s management, and is expected to open in 2020.
The park will feature robotic attractions with audiovisual productions, Mixed Reality, Synthetic Characters and Holographic Technology, Performing Arts Event Centre, Gastronomy, Merchandising and a Hotel, High Speed Train link to Shanghai, Inbuilt Metro station to aid transport to the park as well as various attractions across 46,000 sqm public spaces.
A total sum of 170 million euros has been invested in the project which will be the world’s biggest theme park dedicated to football.
MediaPro hopes to receive about 40 million visitors annually with 80 percent of them from China while the remaining 20 percent will come from outside the Middle Kingdom. The expected price per ticket is $41.
In 2018, a Chinese football club Hebei Fortune wanted to buy Lionel Messi in a world record 1.4 billion euros from FC Barcelona.