Manchester United to open three ‘entertainment centres’ in China

Manchester United has again underlined the importance of China to its international growth with the announcement of three “entertainment and experience centres” in the country.

The club plans to open the theme park-style attractions in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang by the end of 2020, with expansion to further locations possible in the future. The Beijing site will be located in the historic Qianmen Dashilan area, next to Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City. Chinese property developer Harves will partner with the club for the construction phase, reports news service Xinhuanet.

A statement from Manchester United said that the centres would give Chinese fans the chance to “experience the thrill of a matchday at Old Trafford, as well as learning about the history and heritage of English football’s most successful and storied club”.

Manchester United claims to be the most well-supported professional sports team in the world, with as many as 325 million fans in Asia. Last year, SportBusiness looked at how the club’s huge popularity in China helped one of its sponsors, Gulf Oil, break into the marketplace in the country.