FC Barcelona gets a unique financing model for Espai Barça based on incremental revenue generated by the Camp Nou over 25 years

Via FC Barcelona

The vice-president for finance and real estate and head of the Espai Barça project, Jordi Moix, used his speech to present the financial results for the 2019/20 season and to also deliver an explanation of the current status of the Espai Barça project and the plan to finance its construction. This innovative financial operation remains in force despite the effects of the pandemic, and is fully adapted to the club’s needs, respects the red lines set out in the referendum and means that the Espai Barça can be financed by the sale of part of the rights to the future incremental revenue that the project is expected to generate when it is finished.

This operation will be conducted in association with Goldman Sachs, a world leader in investment banking that in recent years has been directly involved in financing the infrastructure of 45 stadiums around the world with more than $20 billion, and other local and international financial institutions that are also interested in participating in this operation.


The conditions for the new financing plan consider that the aggregate amount of the agreement is 815 million euros (725 for investment and to pay for the work and 90 million for capitalizable interest over the five years of work plus the initial financial costs).

The duration of the contract would be 30 years (5 years of construction and 25 years of management), and the payment period would be 25 years from the 2024/25 season, when the project is completed. As for the interest rate, the estimated annual cost would be 3-4% for an annual interest repayment plus amortization with the incremental income estimated at $50 million annually.

The formula for the operation is technically a sale of a part of the rights to collect the additional revenue from the Espai Barça generated by the club to an instrumental vehicle managed by Goldman Sachs. The club would return the investment over those 30 years in the form of 50 million a year that it would obtain from the 150 million extraordinary revenue that it would earn from the Espai Barça. The remaining 100 million in revenue would be used for the club’s regular activities and to boost its competitiveness.

The incremental 150 million would come from the new assets created via Espai Barça, such as the title rights to the stadium and new sponsorship deals (50 million), VIP boxes and seats (50 million) and new visitors to the new museum, greater revenue from ticketing due to the expanded capacity, new catering, venue hire and parking (50 million).

Moix pointed out that when the Espai Barça referendum was approved in 2014, the budget for the project was 600 million euros that was to be paid with 200 million of the club’s own funds, 200 million from a sponsor whose trade name would be attached to that of the Camp Nou (title rights) and 200 million from a bank loan. In the original funding plan, the club undertook not to cross three red lines: the work would not cost the members anything, payment could never jeopardise the sporting side of the club and the club’s assets would never be mortgaged as collateral.

Evolution of construction costs

The construction costs have risen since 2014 from 600 million to 725 million. The initial budget included the complete remodelling of the future Camp Nou, the construction of a new Palau Blaugrana for 10,000 spectators, with a Petit Palau for 2,000, an Ice Rink for 500, as well as the Barça Campus.

The investment in the construction of the Espai Barça has evolved over the years with the addition of new costs that have arisen from developments to the project and the agreement with the City Council and municipal groups for a urban modification plan (MPGM) amounting to 50 million, plus compensations to the City Council in the form of 49,000 m2 of tertiary office buildings and hotels. The rest of the increase in costs is due to modifications to the projected facilities, such as a new Palau Blaugrana for 15,000 rather than 10,000 spectators (60 million), and certain investments in the future Camp Nou to improve services and thereby achieve further incremental revenue, such as improvements to the museum and a new adventure experience (15 million).

Improved business plan and incremental revenue

The key to this finance plan lies in improving the Espai Barça business plan and the incremental income that the project will generate once the Camp Nou is finished. While in 2014 the project was expected to provide incremental revenue of 50 million euros a year, in 2020 an expert consultant in the valuation of commercial assets associated to stadiums, ISG Legends, estimated that Barça will earn more than 150 million additional euros each season thanks to Espai Barça, from the 2024/2025 season onwards. The construction process was also audited by a highly prestigious international real estate consultant in the sector, JLL, which expressed absolute confidence in the management of the project and its schedule. 

The club’s commitments

However, FC Barcelona assumes a series of commitments that must be met, such as always playing at the Camp Nou, competing in one of world’s top five football leagues, complying with financial Fair Play, having a guaranteed maximum price stipulated in the construction contract to avoid deviations from the budget and the right for banks to hire a commercial consultant if the club does not generate the expected incremental revenue to return the investment.

Another of the great advantages of this finance plan is that the club will be able to use 100 of the 150 million annual increments that the Espai Barça will generate for ordinary usage after using the remaining 50 million for the repayment of the finance structure. This income can be invested in making the club stronger and more competitive, and will allow Barça to compensate for the increase in income that other rival clubs in Europe are already benefitting from due to the improvements made to their own stadiums.

In addition, through this operation the club would be protecting its current revenue, by not offering as a guarantee amounts received from contracts that it has already signed, such as TV rights and shirt sponsorship, nor the ownership of its assets or the transfer of their management.

Moreover, the risk is borne by the funds. If the planned incremental income is not generated there is no possibility of any claim against the club. The fund could hire a commercial consultant to monitor the sale of the new assets.

These are two of the differences between this operation and what has been done by other leading clubs to finance their stadiums.

In short, with this new financing plan, the three red lines of the 2014 referendum are not crossed, the club’s current assets are not used as guarantees (land and facilities, stadium ticketing, TV rights and sponsorships), there is greater flexibility for reaching the best title rights agreement when the Camp Nou is finished, the risk is assumed by the financial institutions and banks, and finally, it boosts competitiveness as the 100 million euros a year in incremental revenue can be allocated to other uses.

Construction status and schedule

Jordi Moix also spoke about the status of the current project, now that the Estadi Johan Cruyff Stadium is complete, an application has been made to Barcelona City Council for a license for the future Camp Nou and with the tender for the project in progress. Work on phase 1 of the exterior development (Avinguda Joan XXIII and the Cemetery) has begun together with preliminary studies of the car park, and work is also underway on the Barça Campus project and the interior development plan in liaison with the City Council and local residents.

The draft project for the new Palau Blaugrana for 15,000 spectators and the preliminary design of the Petit Palau, Ice Rink and coach park is to be executed in two phases due to the impact of metro Line 9. The club hopes to bring the draft for the new Palau Blaugrana forward in order for the design and license application phase to be completed by the end of 2021, and thus be able to physically construct the new Palau Blaugrana between 2022 and 2023.

All of this work is being carried out in parallel with the fulfilment of the club’s sustainability goals, for which the Espai Barça project has already been awarded DNGB Gold Standard pre-certification.

As for the revised timetable, it is envisaged that this new finance plan, which still need to be approved by the club members, should be submitted to a referendum towards the end of the first half of 2021 before work can begin on the stadium next summer. Given that there shall be presidential elections next March, Jordi Moix will offer candidates who so wish the chance to receive an in-depth explanation of the project and the new finance plan so that a referendum can be called in sufficient time for work to be able to commence in the summer and thus comply with the planned schedule.

Game Changers – Denise Taylor

Denise Taylor points to her ability to unify people from different backgrounds on one team to enhance products or services in sports and entertainment technology as her biggest career accomplishment.

“Whether it’s an ownership group, a team, a fan, a guest, a developer, a project manager, it’s ultimately about bringing those groups together to drive to a much more impactful service or product or fan experience,” said Taylor, president of global technology solutions at Legends. “I think that has just continued to evolve over my 25-year career, and I think that’s something in today’s day and age continues to be a skill set that is so hugely required.” 

One of the few women to hold the title of chief information officer at a major American company, Taylor has had previous careers stops at AEG, NBCUniversal and Universal Music Group. Before joining Legends in January, she was global CIO for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.

Taylor is working with Legends’ clients on initiatives in the COVID-19 era that will deliver live events on digital platforms to fans — events that the company hopes will rival the experience of attending a live game. Some of these experiences include designing and ordering team merchandise to food and beverage delivery. 

Taylor is also working on Legends’ esports efforts to create immersive experiences that connect stars to fans over live broadcasts.


Biggest work/life adjustment in quarantine: Fortunately, the adjustment with my son at home is nothing short of great — deeper quality time and commitment to each other — which is saying a lot about a senior boy in high school!    

Guilty pleasure: Reading tabloid magazines — a little longer at home now instead of the grocery line!

Woman in sports business I’d most like to meet: Serena Williams. The unparalleled impact she is having on women of all ages around the world is inspiring. =

Change I’d make related to women working in sports: I would start to educate and highlight at a much younger age the multitude of opportunities that exist in sports for woman. 

Sports can grow its role in the social justice movement by: Sports can be a huge platform for change. We are seeing athletes, organizations, teams, and leagues use their platform and voices to bring awareness to important issues.

Willow to Deliver Digital Twin Technology Solutions at New SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park

Willow, the world’s leading provider of digital twin technology, is partnering with Hollywood Park, a new, nearly 300-acre sports and entertainment destination in Inglewood, California, being developed by Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke. The agreement stretches across SoFi Stadium, which will be the first major stadium to implement digital twin technology in the U.S. Using big data gathered from every aspect of the stadium and surrounding development, Willow will create a virtual copy of the facility to deliver an unprecedented level of analytical insight to create a truly world-class fan, resident and guest experience along with optimized levels of sustainability and future-proofing.

Digital twins, first developed by NASA for space exploration, are a bleeding-edge technology that converts all quantifiable aspects of physical buildings into living, learning and evolving virtual replicas. It is the most intuitive way to store, organize and access the incredible amount of data generated by complex smart buildings, allowing owners, facility managers and built environment professionals real-time insights to strategize and optimize every aspect of a building’s operations. Importantly, the system becomes more robust over time with the addition of new data.

“Our goal is to deliver a new type of fan and visitor experience, and to do that, we need a comprehensive, data-driven view into how all the pieces of this project connect,” said Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “For such a large-scale and complex asset like a stadium, this is a pivotal undertaking. Willow’s Digital Twin will enable us to collect and analyze real-time big data across the lifecycle of the development, from construction to ongoing operations.” 

SoFi Stadium is setting a new bar for smart buildings in the sports and entertainment sector. Designed to be a sustainable, future-forward facility for years to come, the venue will be the new, joint home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams and will also host a variety of events throughout the year. Willow’s comprehensive solution, used by some of the world’s most prominent real estate owners, will enable SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park’s operators to gain complete transparency and a single source of truth on data from across the facility’s complex systems. By accessing this data, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park will be able to solve problems before they happen, manage risk and identify previously impossible integrated strategies.

“By accessing data that was once lost between project phases or in multiple systems, Willow can assist SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park in identifying opportunities they never knew they had,” said Shaun Klann, President and Global Head of Real Estate at Willow. “Stadiums are an amazing opportunity to apply the lessons we have learned in commercial real estate, but on a much larger scale. It’s an incredibly exciting project and we are honored to partner with the ambitious and innovative team at SoFi Stadium.”

At present, SoFi Stadium is slated to host Super Bowl LVI in 2022, the College Football Championship Game in 2023 and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympics. Located on the site of a former racetrack, the approximately 70,000-seat stadium will serve as the centerpiece of the state-of-the-art, reimagined Hollywood Park, featuring a full live-work-play experience, from retail, offices, hospitality, residential units and outdoor park spaces.

SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park was represented by Legends Global Partnerships division, which sourced, negotiated and represented SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park in securing this partnership.

Aristocrat Technologies, Inc Named an Official Partner of The Las Vegas Raiders and Allegiant Stadium

Aristocrat Technologies and the Las Vegas Raiders have snapped the ball on a new partnership, making Aristocrat an Official Partner of the Raiders and Allegiant Stadium. Aristocrat’s category includes land-based gaming machines and certain digital social casino games. 

As an Official Partner of the Las Vegas Raiders, Aristocrat will have prominent signage throughout Allegiant Stadium year-round, including in-stadium and in-game branding and naming rights to the Owners East Club. The partnership features entitlement of the Aristocrat Club at Allegiant Stadium, an ultra-exclusive experience with a full-service premium bar, luxury lounge and upgraded stadium seating for game-viewing. 

Additionally, Aristocrat will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Raiders 50/50 Raffle. Through this exciting joint effort, Aristocrat and the Raiders will join forces in giving back to the community. 

“We are thrilled to welcome the Raiders to Las Vegas and to score an exclusive casino gaming supplier partnership with the team,” said Hector Fernandez, president of Aristocrat Americas. “Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world, and as an exclusive partner to one of the most iconic teams in the NFL, we look forward to providing playful experiences for Raiders fans.” 

“The Raiders are excited to welcome Aristocrat Technologies as our newest partner,” said Raiders President Marc Badain. “Aristocrat is a great match as evidenced by their innovative technology and commitment to team up with the Raiders in giving back to the community.” 

Legends Global Partnerships represented the Raiders to secure the partnership with Aristocrat as a part of their duties as the stadium’s official premium ticketing and sponsorships agency. 

Legends Wins Best in Property Consulting, Sales & Client Services

Via Sports Business Journal’s 2020 SBJ Awards


Here is the full list of tonight’s winners:  

• Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services: Legends

• Best in Digital Sports Media: Bleacher Report

• Best in Mobile Fan Experience: The Masters Tournament App, produced by Augusta National and IBM  

• Best in Sports Social Media: Louisiana State University  

• Best in Sports Technology: Mixed Reality Baltimore Raven

• Best in Sports Media: CBS Sports

• Sports Event of the Year: 2019 NFL Draft

• Sports Breakthrough of the Year: Premier Lacrosse League  

• Sports Sponsor of the Year: Visa

• Athletic Director of the Year: Scott Stricklin, University of Florida

• Best in Sports Event and Experiential Marketing: Bespoke Sports & Entertainment  

• Best in Talent Representation: Wasserman

• Best in Corporate Consulting, Marketing and Client Services: Octagon  

• Sports Facility of the Year: Chase Center

• Sports Team of the Year: St. Louis Blues

• Sports League of the Year: Major League Soccer

• Sports Executive of the Year: Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN  

• Celebration of Service Award: Team IMPACT

• Lifetime Achievement: Larry Tanenbaum

MLB Flagship Store Opens in NYC

— Widest In-Store Assortment of MLB Product Anywhere in the World, Featuring More Than 10,000 Caps —

— Memorabilia Collection Features Items From Recent Jewel Events and An Exclusive Derek Jeter Hall of Fame Collection —

— Store Includes Exclusive Products, Jersey Customization Station, Along with Merchandise for the 2020 Postseason and World Series —


Major League Baseball (MLB) today opens the MLB Flagship Store, located at 1271 Avenue of the Americas in midtown Manhattan. MLB partnered with Legends, a premium experiences company with global expertise across merchandising, sales, partnerships, planning, technology, and hospitality, to build and operate the first permanent MLB retail store in the United States. 

The state-of-the-art retail destination features the widest in-store assortment of MLB products anywhere in the world, spanning two floors and approximately 10,000 square feet, and housing 100 different apparel styles. The main floor of the store features Nike jerseys from stars of all 30 MLB Clubs, plus an extensive New Era Cap Wall, showcasing Authentic Collection fitted caps for each team.  In total, the store maintains more than 10,000 total authentic and lifestyle MLB caps.

The one-of-a-kind store features a large customization station, allowing fans the option to personalize MLB replica jerseys and Stance socks. A jersey carousel, visible from the street, displays customizable jerseys that represent each MLB Club.

The lower level of the store includes a Cooperstown area and a memorabilia section with game-used and autographed merchandise. The area includes game-used bases from historic games such as Game 7 of the 2016 World Series and Game 7 of the 2019 World Series; game-used items from recent All-Star Games, Home Run Derbies, and World Series featuring MLB stars; and exclusive Derek Jeter autographed items from the 2020 Hall of Fame collection.

“With a wide assortment of merchandise and showcasing products from all 30 Clubs, the MLB Flagship Store offers something for all of our fans,” said Noah Garden, MLB Chief Revenue Officer.  “We expect the MLB Flagship Store to be more than a retail location. Over time, we plan to host MLB player appearances, special events, product unveilings and more as the location establishes itself as a new way for fans to celebrate all things Major League Baseball.”

In addition, the lower level houses authentic Mitchell & Ness throwback jerseys as well as an MLB-themed photo booth, where fans can print or upload photos to social media.

The MLB Flagship Store will host the Commissioner’s Trophy, given to the winner of the World Series each year, from October 5th – 8th for fan photos. Following its appearance, the trophy will travel to Arlington, Texas for the 2020 World Series.

The interactive store features products for all 30 MLB Clubs, including items exclusive to the MLB Flagship Store featuring the new MLB NYC logo. The store includes products for fans of all ages and sizes, with an extensive assortment of items for men, women, and kids such as jerseys, t-shirts, fan gear, headwear, training gear, houseware, and accessories.

“Legends has worked closely with Major League Baseball to create an immersive retail experience that brings baseball fans closer to the game they love with a vast selection of products for fans of all ages, across all 30 MLB Clubs, including exclusive items that cannot be found elsewhere,” said Dan Smith, Legends President, Hospitality. “In addition, the store is home to an extensive memorabilia collection, including game-used and autographed items from some of the biggest moments in MLB’s history. Throughout the year, we’ll have special in-store events and appearances – our very first appearance will be next week when the Commissioner’s Trophy visits the MLB Flagship Store before traveling to Arlington for the 2020 World Series.”  

The MLB Flagship Store, which will be open daily from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., will feature a wide product assortment from fan favorites like Nike, New Era Cap, ‘47, Topps, Mitchell & Ness, Rawlings, and Stance. The store will also feature a variety of premium lifestyle brands such as Vineyard Vines, Peter Millar, Johnnie-O, DKNY and Herschel.

The MLB Flagship Store will operate in accordance with local health and social distancing guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our guests and staff. For more information about our COVID-19 protocols, please visit https://www.mlb.com/shop/nyc-retail-store.

In addition to operating the MLB Flagship Store, Legends’ Project Development division oversaw the design and construction of the new space.