Não é a primeira vez que aqui neste blogue, sugerimos que a ideia do Benfica criar um hotel totalmente dedicado ao futebol nas imediações do seu estádio, poderia ter um impacto muito grande na zona de Lisboa, e tornar-se uma enorme fonte de rendimento do clube.
Pelos vistos em Manchester, um clube conhecido pelas suas boas ideias, houve alguém que teve a iniciativa de colocar este projeto em marcha. E de quem foi a ideia? Quem são os proprietários? Gary Neville e Ryan Giggs, quem diria?
Aqui fica, em inglês, a notícia.
Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs and Gary Nevillehave announced the opening date for their new hotel opposite Old Trafford... just days before the Reds take on their arch-rivals Liverpool.
The former football stars have joined forces to launch what will become the world’s first ‘football hotel.’
Gary’s brother Phil and fellow Class of 92 members Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt are also involved in the building project which is said to have created more than 200 jobs.
And they have now announced that the 10-storey building on Sir Matt Busby Way, just yards from Old Trafford, will open its doors on Monday, December 8.
That would be a baptism of fire for the four-star hotel, which can host up to 1,500 fans on a matchday, with its first game being the Reds clash with Liverpool currently pencilled in for Saturday, December 13.
Despite their strong United allegiances, United assistant boss Giggs and Neville have said they will welcome fans of any clubs.
Their company GG Hospitality says it will offer fans “the ultimate match day experience.”
Each of the hotel’s 133-rooms will be complete with a 40 inch TV with a full Sky package and “a fully stocked retro mini bar.”
It will incorporate a Cafe Football, a restaurant chain also launched by Giggs and Neville which has already opened a branch in London.
The Manchester eatery will have a menu designed by two Michelin star chef, Michael Wignall with twists put on terrace favourites such as sausage rolls.
Meanwhile the hotel will also boast a conference centre and even a five-a-side football pitch on the roof (este campo de futebol de 5 fica no telhado do hotel!!).
The M.E.N. reported in May that Giggs, the Neville brothers, Scholes and Butt stunned workers by all turning up for a kick about on the hotel roof.
It will also be the base for the Old Trafford branch of the United supporters club.
Gary Neville said: “Ryan and I have spent so much of our lives playing at Old Trafford and appreciate everyone who supported us there over the years.
“To make sure that the hotel appeals to everyone, not just football fans, we are working with some of the most talented people in the industry to create something unique and inviting – with a focus on excellent customer service.”