Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest soccer player of all time. Each and every fan wants to get a piece of Messi, but they are unable to do so. However, this is possible now after it was announced that the Messi theme park is set to open soon. With this, although the fans won’t get to meet the soccer star directly, it will give them a unique experience of the Argentine soccer legend.
Messi Experience Park reportedly cost $200 million
In 2017, MediaPro Exhibitions and Phoenix Group collaborated with Leo Messi Management to build the Messi Experience Park (MEP). The MEP is set to open in Nanjing, a city in China. Presently, a sum of $200 million has already been invested in this project. The entire macro-project will be spread out in an area covering almost nine hectares, excluding the hotels and residential areas to be built around the area.
A total of 46,000 square meters has been allotted for the purpose of an indoor space. There will also be 12,000 square meters of a landscaped play area. Approximately, 25,000 square meters will be used as public space. MediaPro Exhibitions, which developed the concept and the design for the theme park has taken on 200 direct and 300 indirect workers for this project.
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The Messi Experience Park includes a long and unique list of attractions. The MEP project boasts the most cutting-edge and state-of-the-art technology. This technology will help the visitors to experience Messi-related activities in a way never-seen-before. The MEP will contain some of the most technologically advanced features like flying theatres, 360° domes, dark rides, VR experiences, animatronics, and so on. Besides, it will also have a Performing Arts Event Centre, gastronomy, merchandising and hotels, and other residential areas. Not to mention the high-speed train link that will connect the MEP with Shanghai.
The Paris Saint-Germain star said, “I hope to provide [the visitors with an] experience they’ve never had before and to inspire them to pick up the sport early on. Hopefully, they will feel that I am around when visiting the park.”
Lionel Messi said that he hopes the MEP will encourage more children to get into football at a young age.
What is the current state of Lionel Messi’s theme park?
David Xirau, the head of MediaPro Exhibitions, stated that the park will not be used as a space for self-promotion. Instead, the purpose of the park is to promote football in China. Xirau said, “In China, football is growing at an exponential rate, encouraged by the authorities. Nanjing is the football capital here. It is a China-scale project, very big. It is around 80,000 square meters, most of which will be inside for weather reasons.”
While talking about the former Barcelona star, Xirau added, “This is a tribute to football with Leo’s [Messi] trademark. With time, we will have to update the space. Football does not begin and end with Leo, luckily. In fact, neither Pele, Cruyff nor Maradona lost their influence when they retired from football. Leo also has the advantage of his image.”
The Messi Experience Park was set to open in 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the MEP obviously could not be opened in 2020. Currently, there’s little news about when the theme park is set to open. There’s also no knowledge about the price for the entry ticket of the MEP. However, David Xirau, confirmed that the price will be similar to the Disneyland in Shanghai, which is approximately $40. Xirau has also revealed his ambitions for opening Messi Experience Parks in more locations around the world.