Fed up with watching high priced friendlies in the US involving squad and youth team players? Want to watch a competitive match involving some of the best players in the world?
Then you will love the news that La Liga will start to play regular season games in the United States and Canada, possibly as early as this year.
The league has struck a 15-year deal with multinational media company Relevent Sports which will see matches played outside of a home country in a top European league for the first time ever.
The idea is start as early as the 2018/19 season with Barcelona and Real Madrid seen by authorities as the two clubs who will drive increased viewing figures in the competition.
Relevent Sports are backed by US Stephen Ross, the billionaire owner of NFL team the Miami Dolphins and the move is to drive up sponsorship on the continent.
Ross said, in quotes carried by El Pais: “The goal of this extraordinary ‘joint venture’ is for the culture of football to grow in the United States. It will be a big step in its growing popularity.”
Chief executive of Relevent Sports Danny Sillman is quoted as saying by the Financial Times:
“Our goal is to get one game off the ground; we’ll see how it proliferates from there.
“One of the opportunities with La Liga is to build a consumer brand which ultimately raises the value of the media rights.
“That’s where the bulk of the money will come from in this transaction. It’s our job to tell their story of their clubs and stars.”
La Liga chief Javier Tebas added, on the idea of playing matches in the United States:
“If the NBA or the NFL play games outside their environment or their countries, why not the Spanish League?
“It is important to develop our brand. It is among our short- or medium-term objectives to bring a game of the Spanish League every year to the United States.”
The idea appears to be to slowly increase the number of top-flight Spanish matches played abroad over time.