REAL MADRID

Coronavirus puts Las Vegas Clásico at risk

The coronavirus is continuing to impact the world of football and the money-spinning International Champions Cup is another likely to fall.

Coronavirus puts Las Vegas Clásico at risk

The coronavirus crisis is spreading and, aside from the devastating impact it is having on human life and economies, it is also taking a huge toll on sporting events across the globe. Another example of this is the International Champions Cup in the USA, which may be seen by many as a glorified pre-season friendly tournament, but it is one that brings a generous source of income for the likes of Real Madrid. For the 2020 edition there was also a jackpot waiting: a Clásico against Barcelona in Las Vegas.

Coronavirus puts Las Vegas Clásico in doubt

Initially reported by the Washington Post in February, the two Spanish giants had continued their negotiations with Relevent Sports, the company that organises the tournament. The plan was to hold a second Clásico on American soil, following the high-profiled match in Miami in 2017. Its purpose, much like a bottle of expensive champagne on the side of a ship, was to officially launch the new Allegiant Stadium, seen as the latest wonder of Las Vegas, Built at the cost of €1,750m it is to host the Raiders NFL franchise.

"We are still planning for the 2020 edition and we are adjusting to the new football calendars"

But, with exciting plans in place, everything now appears to be pointing to a sinking idea.The first blow came four weeks ago, when the scourge of the coronavirus was initially felt across China and forced Relevent Sports to cancel the part of the tournament that was scheduled to be played in Singapore. With major leagues across Europe now suspended, and the postponement of Euro 2020 being used to allow a summer conclusion to those competitions, the United States’ leg is looking ever more unlikely.

The sports organisation, however, is reluctant to cancel the 2020 ICC in the US.

"We are still planning for the 2020 edition and we are adjusting to the new football calendars," a senior manager at Relevent Sports explained to AS. “We have to monitor the situation but we have to understand that it is changing very quickly.

“In any case, safety and health will be our priorities," he concluded.

The ICC gold mine

Real Madrid are part of a select group of clubs that receive the largest revenue from the ICC, along with Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich, with Liverpool looking to join them. In total, in the summer of 2019 Madrid recouped €12m net for their US tour, and were in line for more this summer.

The gold mine may not be closed just yet, but the foundations are shaking.