New investor to aid Estádio do Dragão revamp

Featured image credit: FC Porto

Portuguese Primeira Liga football club FC Porto has announced it has agreed an investment partnership with a “reputable international company” designed to aid redevelopment work at its Estádio do Dragão.

Porto owns and operates the 50,000-capacity stadium and disclosed news of the deal in its financial report for the first half of the 2023-24 year.

The club said: “Futebol Clube do Porto – Futebol, SAD agreed with a reputable international company, with recognised experience in optimising commercial revenues related to large sports stadia, a partnership that will be embodied in the participation of a minority stake in one of the companies with the commercial rights of Grupo FC Porto and in an initial investment with a view to modernising the Estádio do Dragão, therefore boosting revenue related to it.

“The agreement established will also result in the financial participation of an estimated amount between €60m (£51.3m/$64.8m) and €70m, to be realised in the fourth quarter of this term, which will directly impact the equity of FC Porto – Futebol, SAD.”

Speaking at a press conference, Porto vice-president Fernando Gomes refused to disclose the identity of the company, however Portuguese media outlet ECO has reported it is not Legends.

In November, the global premium experiences company entered into a 15-year strategic partnership with Porto focused on transforming the fan experience. 

As part of the partnership, Legends is overseeing global partnerships for the club as well as naming rights and sponsorship assets for Estádio do Dragão. Porto and Legends are evaluating new opportunities to deliver a “premier matchday experience” for fans.

Legends will utilise its hospitality expertise to reimagine the culinary and beverage experience at the stadium, namely in Porto Partner’s Club VIP boxes and seats.

Gomes said Porto has held “negotiations with a large international group that deals with the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona”, adding that this will be a partner “that does not buy financial shares, but rather forms a company to operate the commercial area of ​​the stadium”.

He continued: “A new company is created, 70% owned by FC Porto and 30% by the partner upon payment of an amount between €60m and €70m.”

Gomes said this “very strong increase in revenue”, described as the result of “being creative, having good partners and adding value”, is a way of “creating and adding value without wasting money”. He added there are plans for a “small revolution in the (corporate) boxes” that will increase commercial revenues.

In other news, Porto has opened a sensory room space at the Dragão. Espaço INZONE has been developed through a partnership between Porto, Escola Superior de Saúde do Instituto Politécnico do Porto and club sponsor Betano.