La Liga is set to play season matches in USA and Canada, as a part of a 15-year partnership with ‘Relevent.’
The Spanish domestic league, La Liga is set to become the first major European league to stage a league match outside the country. La Liga has struck a partnership with US sports and entertainment company, ‘Relevent,’ which includes a plan to play at least one match at a venue in US & Canada every season.
Relevent is also the organisation which operates the International Champions Cup, the annual pre-season competition for top European clubs. The US organisation now intends to bring relevant club football games to the shores of United States, and believe that the deal with La Liga is a big boost.
Talking to The Insider, as quoted by Washington Post, Charlie Stillitano, the executive chairman of Relevent said that the discussions to host a league game this season have already begun. He stated that the game would take place this season next year and will most likely be played in Miami.
“Our goal, our job, our responsibility is to try to build La Liga. We told them, [Relevent] sees the power of regular season games,” Stillitano said.
“To properly market the match, one of the participating teams would have to be Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla or Valencia. And the league knows that,” he added.
BREAKING: La Liga announces 15-year partnership which will see regular season games played in USA and Canada pic.twitter.com/e0fDsIsH7U
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 16, 2018
Meanwhile, La Liga’s international development director Oscar Mayo said that the deal is a part of their expansion programme. “Joining with Relevent is a major milestone in our international expansion strategy,” he said.
There are concerns, however, in regards to the sacrifice of a home game. Similar plans were charted by the Premier League, but later dropped due to fan backlash.
“It’s a 15-year deal but we want to start building the brand now, and the best way for the American people to realise that La Liga is probably the best football league in the world in terms of quality soccer is with a regular season match,” Stillitano said.
The long-term deal between La Liga and Relevent will also result in the formation of ‘La Liga North America’, a business which will pertain to the interests of La Liga in United States and Canada.