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Atlético ‘buys back’ VIP business from Centerplate

LaLiga football club Atlético Madrid has bought back its VIP business from hospitality company Centerplate in a deal worth €18m (£15m/$20.4m), according to reports in the Spanish media.

Atlético had signed a 20-year deal with Centerplate to manage all food service, premium ticket sales and marketing at its Wanda Metropolitano stadium, which opened in 2017.

However, the club has repurchased its VIP and restaurant business from the company, according to Spanish sports business news website 2Playbook. The decision has been taken after Atlético posted a loss of €4.18m in this field during 2020-21.

2Playbook reports that the agreement with Centerplate was ended in August following “several months of discrepancies” caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to matches being held behind closed doors at the Wanda Metropolitano.

The Wanda Metropolitano opened in September 2017 with more than 80% of its VIP spaces already reserved. 2Playbook noted that VIP passes ranged from €1,700 for a seat with access to hospitality areas, to €162,000 for a private box.

The stadium’s VIP section includes 139 private boxes, which span a total of 11,000 square metres.

The Wanda Metropolitano has a capacity of more than 68,000. The stadium replaced the Vicente Calderon as Atlético’s home ground.

The Wanda Metropolitano staged the 2019 UEFA Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. The stadium was used as a vaccination centre last year, boosting Madrid’s efforts to control the pandemic.

In September, Sodexo rebranded Centerplate as Sodexo Live! as part of a plan to accelerate growth in Spain and the Asia-Pacific region. The rebrand was confirmed nearly four years after US-headquartered Centerplate was acquired by Sodexo.

Image: Pelayo Arbués on Unsplash