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Manchester United to open three entertainment centers in China

By Sun Xiaochen | | Updated: 2019-01-09 15:47
Harves CEO Zhang Bo, Manchester United Legend Denis Law and Richard Arnold (left to right) launch the partnership at Old Trafford. [Photo provided to]

English Premier League club Manchester United announced on Tuesday that it will open a series of club-themed entertainment and experience centers throughout China in partnership with major Chinese property developer Harves.

The first three entertainment and experience centers are scheduled to open in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang by the end of 2020.

The facilities will feature interactive attractions and exhibitions focusing on the club and its Old Trafford stadium, and will be aimed at United's millions of fans in China.

The Beijing center will be located at the Beijing Fun complex, a new landmark in the capital's historic Qianmen area right next to Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City.

Each center will offer visitors a different experience and will include restaurants and club retail stores.

As arguably the most popular European club in China, Manchester United, which has won 20 top flight league titles, 12 FA Cups and three UEFA Champions League trophies, now boasts more than 9 million followers on its official account on social media platform Sina Weibo.

On its last pre-season China tour in 2016, United played exhibition games against cross-town rivals Manchester City and German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Manchester United Legend Denis Law shares his memories with Harves CEO, Zhang Bo, and Richard Arnold, group managing director at Old Trafford. [Photo provided to]

The new centers will help further strengthen the bond with its Chinese supporters, said Richard Arnold, group managing director of Manchester United.

"We're very excited to be partnering with Harves on the Manchester United entertainment and experience centers concept, offering our millions of Chinese fans the chance to experience the club in a new and innovative way," he said.

"We first visited China in 1975 and we're proud to have seen our fan base in the region grow and develop their passion for United over the years. This new concept will allow them to get closer to the club they love."

Zhang Bo, CEO of Harves and a diehard United fan himself, expects the centers to bring fans more about the club than just its on-field success.

"Harves is honored to partner with Manchester United and bring our property development expertise in the creation of these centers," he said. "They were the first club to broadcast games in China and I can remember setting my alarm to watch the best players in the world play."

"We are excited to bring the rituals and emotions of the Manchester United experience to the youth in China, capturing what it feels like to be a member of this elite club.

"Rooted in its unique approach to training, its storied legacy and leadership, and its status as the most successful club in the world, we will create a fully immersive experience that entertains, educates, and inspires the next generation of football fans."

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