LaLiga, alongside Villarreal CF and Atlético Madrid, today presented an official request to the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) to play the match between Villarreal CF and Atlético Madrid, corresponding to LaLiga Santander Matchday 16, on 6th December 2019, at 10pm Spanish time (4pm local time) at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami (Florida, United States).
This request is part of LaLiga's international growth strategy. There are millions of LaLiga fans around the world. Bringing the clubs closer to these fans represents an important opportunity to connect with them and continue working for the global growth of LaLiga on a worldwide level. This international growth has a benefit for the clubs involved, as well as players, fans, LaLiga, Spanish football and Spain itself.
The choice of teams is due to the interest and availability shown by both clubs. USA, and especially Miami, is an essential part of its growth strategies. Villarreal now have been working in the North American market for various years, through the presence of academies and different training and marketing activities. Atlético Madrid recently completed a successful summer tour of the US, where they also took part in the MLS All-Star match in Orlando (Florida).
The players and coaching staff from both sides have been told about this and have shown enthusiasm in taking football to their fans in the US. Also the Spanish Footballers' Association (Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles) has been informed of the request.
"Atlético Madrid work each season to expand our brand in every continent and the playing this tie in the US would let us continue to work on that. Furthermore, we would be able to bring Spanish football closer to the fans and followers who live outside of our country. It would be a great game which would show the way to go in the future," said Atlético Madrid CEO Miguel Ángel Gil.
"Everything to with exporting football and Spanish sport is good for every, and of course, for Villarreal CF too. The United States of America is a very important country where we have official partner academies of the club and we carry out distinct activities with regards to forming of youth players, so it would be very special for us to be able to play there. So it is a positive experience for everyone, we've thought about a number of compensation alternatives for our fans," added Fernando Roig, Villarreal CF president.
LaLiga president Javier Tebas added that "this match would be a further push in LaLiga's internationalisation strategy, which is giving all clubs good results. We believe that on this occasion, we will be able to carry out this positive opportunity for everyone, like they already do in other leagues like the NFL and the NBA, outside of their borders."
Villarreal season-ticket holders, who would see that match of their season ticket is played elsewhere, would have a compensation package agreed with the club. They will be able to choose between:
- A discount of 40% in next season's season ticket, or 20% off the current season ticket.
- A ticket for the match between the two sides at the Wanda Metropolitano (maximum of 3,000 available, including trip by train).
- Travel to Miami to watch the match live (limited to 600 fans).
This initiative is part of the project that LaLiga started a year ago with Relevent Sports, which aims to boost the growth of football in the US and bring LaLiga closer to fans there.
LaLiga is a global, innovative and socially responsible organisation that is a leader in the leisure and entertainment sector. It's a private sporting association, made up of the 20 football clubs in LaLiga Santander and the 22 in LaLiga Smartbank, and is responsible for the organisation of professional national football competitions. In the 2018/19 season, LaLiga reached more than 2,700 million people world wide. Based in Madrid (spain), it is currently working in 55 countries through nine offices and 46 delegates. LaLiga carries out social action through it's Foundation and is the first worldwide football league which has a competition for players with intellectual disability: LaLiga Santander.