As an American, I find it hard to get behind the worldwide soccer craze. It just never really caught on here in the States, so we don’t get to experience soccer hooligans and World Cup madness.
So, to me, it’s a bit odd to hear the Spanish soccer power-house team Real Madrid is planning on building a $1 billion resort for soccer fanatics. I mean, we love American football over here in the States, and we have a tendency to spend money a bit lavishly, but it’s still hard for me to imagine that America would want to build a $1 billion football resort. But hey, who am I to judge? Considering that everybody else in the world adores soccer, a soccer-themed resort might just be a worthwhile investment.
The big question remains: what’s all of this have to do with aquatic architecture? The plan is to build a set of artificial archipelagos that will support the resort. The ironic thing is that they’re going to build it in the United Arab Emirates. Evidently, they never heard about Dubai’s recent island-related financial woes.
Once built, the soccer theme park will have everything you could possibly expect in an overly elaborate sports resort. The 430,000-square meter facility will have two hotels, a museum devoted entirely to the Real Madrid sports team, and of course a 10,000-seat soccer stadium. As it turns out, it’s actually fairly reasonable to assume that they will be able to fill the stadium to capacity for their matches. The resort will be conveniently half-way between their homeland in Spain and their 100 million fans in Asia.
It will be interesting to see if this endeavor sinks or floats. Considering the financial issues that plagued many of Dubai’s artificial islands, it’s reasonable to be worried about a similar outcome here. On top of that, this facility will be testing out the viability of a sports-themed vacation hotspot, which will be the first of its kind. Will making the resort soccer-themed attract more or fewer visitors? We won’t really know until 2015, when J+H Boiffils, the designers, expect it to open.