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The members have approved with 283 votes in favour, 21 blank and 25 against, the project that will allow a new Barça Academy in New York. As such, the expansion of FC Barcelona in the United States takes another step forward after the opening of an office in the same city in September 2016.
The Academy will be situated in the Tri-State Area, a region which is at the juncture of the three states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. During the search for land to develop the Academy, a site was found that belonged to The Anthony J. And Vincenza R. Santilli Revocable Family Asset Company which had a rental agreement with Prospect Sports Partner LLC (PSP) for a period of 90 years for the construction and use of sporting facilities that complied perfectly with the Club’s needs.
The land is situated more precisely in King’s Park, between the counties of Suffolk and Nassau on Long Island where there is a population of around 184,000 children under the age of 14 and a secondary market of more than 2.5 million children in Tri-State Area. “We foresee some 2,000 boys and girls playing at our facilities,” confirmed Club CEO Òscar Grau in his explanation of the project.
A joint venture will be created
The business formula that this project proposes is that of a joint venture, considered the best option for the objectives that are planned for this initiative that allows FC Barcelona to develop its football academy and make use of the rest of the sporting complex that will be built at the site mentioned that will cover some 20,000 square metres.
In this space some eight football pitches with artificial turf are planned with two pitches with natural turf, as well as all the facilities needed for the playing of sport, all of the highest quality. Given the climate of the area, also planned is that some of the pitches can be covered during the winter so that the Academy can carry out its work all year round. Also planned is the construction of offices, shops, parking lots and other auxiliary buildings.
FC Barcelona exempt from any kind of economic investment
All the investment in the construction of the facilities that will form part of the joint venture will come exclusively from PSP, FC Barcelona being exempt from any type of economic commitment. FC Barcelona is committed to sending a team of coaches trained by the Club in order to implement the methodology and philosophy and way of working to guarantee that our image is faithfully represented and cared for at all times.
The length of this joint business venture will be 10 years with the option of another 10. The terms of the agreement envisage an income for the Club of 15% of the income generated in the form of royalties for the use of the brand as well as 50% of the profits generated overall by the project that is developed.
The viability studies that have been carried out by the Club in conjunction with Deloitte, and under the business predictions with expected demand in mind, predict a positive return for the Club during the first 5 years.
Principal objective: to help the Barça brand grow
Despite the economic benefits foreseen for the project, the main objective is sporting and the brand. Sporting, because an elite football academy is the aim to compete at the highest level in the country as well as being a point of reference for young North American players. The brand, because this project will serve as a tool for growth in an area of strategic importance for the Club: the USA, and in particular the New York area which has a great influence locally and around the globe.
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